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FEATURE - Tyre Developments in association with


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• Profile: Irish Commercials' New HQ • Safety: Latest on EuroNCAP • Heavy Haulage: DAF XF @ 150 tonnes

APRIL ‘09 €4.50 inc.V.A.T.

STG £2.80

contents April 2009 Fleet Transport Magazine, D’Alton Street, Claremorris, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)94 9372819/ 9372826 Fax: +353 (0)94 9373571 Email: ISDN: +353 (0)94 938 8242 ISSN: 1649-9433 Editor: Jarlath Sweeney Contributors: Sean Murtagh, Gerry Murphy, Cathal Doyle, Paul White, Jonathan Lawton, Donal Dempsey, Howard Knott, Jerry Kiersey, Creels, Joe O’Brien. Photography: Jarlath Sweeney, Gerry Murphy, Cathal Doyle, Paul White, Inside Line, Tom Cunningham, Paul Sherwood.

6 News Eurovignette voted in • Dublin Transport Authority seeks reps • ITOY Presentation • Reynolds Logistics ready to take on Europe • Ireland discriminated • Volvo appoints Murphy Commercials • Trailer ’09 goes ahead • Transport Ireland Conference

Advertising: Mary Morrissey, Orla Sweeney. Design: Eamon Wynne.

40 Environment Electric vehicles strike a cord 41 Comment Rail freight – what’s the future? 42 Safety Latest developments from EuroNCAP 44 Finance Business Planning

10 Cover/Test MAN TGS 32.400 8x2 Milk Tanker 12 New Fleet ’09 Merc’s, Hino’s, Iveco’s, Smith’s & Volvo’s

45 Trailer The market trends, developments and awards 46 Materials Handling RFID

14 Profile Irish Commercials' new headquarters

47 Fleeting Shots Colour news items

17 Feature Tyres – Trucks, Bus, Trailer & Van

Cartoons: HandEye Studios. Administration: Orla Sweeney, Denise Vahey, Helen Maguire.

48 Product Featuring Viper Guard, Daimler, Nokia & Volvo

22 Heavy Haulage Dutch based International Specialist 25 KOTR Irish Road Haulage Association Newsletter 33 Fuel Prices Global fuel costs from the pumps

50 Bus & Coach Show report from Limerick, Wrightbus & ADL affected by downturn & GoBus starts up. 52 Logistics CJ Sheeran, EPAL & Heavey RF / Musgraves get a mention here.

34 Shipping & Freight News across the waves

54 Soapbox EU Membership and Red tape.

36 Times Past Gone but not forgotten!

Fleet Transport/ Fleet Car/ Fleet Van & Utility/ Fleet Bus & Coach/ Fleet Trailer & Body Builder/ Fleet Maritime are published by JJDS Publications Ltd. Registered Office: D’Alton Street, Claremorris, Co. Mayo. Co. Reg. 368767 Directors: Jarlath Sweeney, Sean Murtagh.

Disclaimer: Fleet Transport Magazine management can accept no responsibility for the accuracy of contributed articles or statements appearing in this magazine and any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Fleet Transport management, save where otherwise indicated. No responsibility for loss or distress occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by the authors, contributors, Editors or publishers. The Editor reserves the right to make publishing decisions on any advertisements or editorial article submitted to the magazine and to refuse publication or to edit any editorial material as seems appropriate to him. Professional legal advice should always be sought in relation to any specific matter.

Fleet Transport Official Irish Jury Member of the International Truck of the Year Award


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European Parliament Vote for Revisions to Eurovignette Directive


espite the best efforts from the Irish MEP lobby, the European Parliament voted in favour (albeit by a slim margin) of the revision of the Eurovignette Directive. As feared and highlighted by Fleet Transport in recent editions, this decision will lead to increased costs of freight transport in Europe. Irish hauliers operating across the Continent, will be particularly hit. North West MEP Seán Ó’Neachtain (FF) spoke strongly against the proposal and got strong support from Portuguese and other colleagues on the Transport Committee of the European Parliament. “Unfortunately the proposal was approved, but hearteningly the majority was not that large,” explained Seán to the Fleet News Desk. “The final vote was 359 in favour; 256 against and 86 abstentions. While the size of the majority does not matter in this case – it does suggest that the Bill will not have an easy passage in Council. Ireland is very active on this matter at Council level, “ added Seán encouragingly. While the acceptance of the fi nal report is bad news, there were some minor positives to take from votes on specific passages, with amendments

calling for the scope of the proposal to be widened. The new Directive due for implementation in 2011, supports the European Commission’s plans to increase tolls to reduce traffic congestion and CO2 emissions. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) said that the members of the European Parliament should have called for stopping the revision of the Eurovignette Directive, “or, as a minimum, should have postponed their decision as the current economic crisis has already caused 140,000 job losses and an increase in the bankruptcy rate of more that 110% within the EU road transport industry.” It is proposed that roads that carry significant

Wish to sit on the Dublin Transport Authority?


he soon-to-be established Dublin Transport Authority will have six members of the general public, by invitation of the Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, T.D. “My Department is proceeding with preparations for the establishment of the Dublin Transport Authority (DTA) this year. Th is new much needed Authority will have overall responsibility for integrated transport planning and delivery in the Greater Dublin Area comprising Dublin City and County, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.” “I have now decided to begin the process of appointing the members of the Authority Board by inviting applications from people who believe they can make a positive contribution to the development of an integrated transport system in the Greater Dublin Area. If you care about what transport in the Greater Dublin Area should look like I want to hear from you. The DTA is going to make a very real difference to the lives of thousands of people every day and this is your chance to be part of it.” He added, “The DTA will save money and save time and it will deliver better transport


services for the Greater Dublin Area. If you want to apply to be a member of the Board the application process is very straight forward. Ideally the candidate should have experience in transport, industrial, commercial, fi nancial, land use planning, environmental matters or the organisation of workers or administration. If this sounds like you go ahead and submit your application today.” Details of the application process are available on

volumes of international goods transport and are currently tolled, will be included in the new road charging programme. Trucks over 12 tonnes will have to pay from 2011 and with the gross weight limit for the Eurovignette reducing to 3.5 tonnes by 2012.

International Truck of the Year Trophy Presentation To mark the Mercedes-Benz Actros in winning the International Truck of the Year 2009, Irish Jury Member and Fleet Transport Editor Jarlath Sweeney (right) made the presentation of the replica trophy to Fergus Conheady, Sales Manager, Mercedes-Benz Commercials and Stephen Byrne, Chief Executive, Mercedes-Benz Ireland.


Irish Representative Reynolds Logistics shortlisted for European Transport Company of the Year 2009


eynolds Logistics, Fleet Transport’s Irish Haulier of the Year 2008 has gone one step closer to becoming European Transport Company of the Year 2009 after being selected in the shortlist of 6 out of 12 qualifiers. The next phase of the competition sees the candidates re-submit their entry to the pan-European Jury highlighting additional elements about their business before going before the Jury in an interview style presentation on 7th May. Results of a Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted independently among the fi nalists will be available by then also. The six shortlisted are: Nord-Sűd (Germany), Reynolds Logistics (Ireland), Smidl (Czech Republic), Van Maanen (Netherlands), Van Moor Group (Belgium) and Waberer’s (Hungary). The winner of the inaugural award, which honours excellence in transport management,

will be revealed during the evening dinner, which closes the Truck Europe Forum to be held at the Holiday Inn Hotel at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam on 7th May. On congratulating Joe Reynolds, Chairman, Reynolds Logistics on the quality of his submission that convinced the Jury members (made up of a panel of experts in the transport industry, truck manufacturers and trade magazine editors) Jarlath Sweeney, Fleet Transport’s Editor and Jury Member said, “Although I could not vote for a representative from my own country, I am absolutely delighted that Reynolds Logistics has made it to the fi nal. From my knowledge of the other candidates, the standard of the submissions were very high which makes their achievement all the more credible. Good luck to Joe, Andrew

and all the team at Reynolds in the fi nal. Come on, Ireland!” Joe Reynolds was equally pleased and vowed that he and his management team will make every effort to bring home the European title to Ireland.

Ireland discriminated against by EU Transport Policy


reland is being discriminated against by the EU common policy for rail, road, inland waterway, maritime and air transport. That was the key message delivered by the Mayor of Clare, Councillor Madeleine Taylor Quinn (pictured) as she hosted a visit to Ireland by members of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee (TRA N). The visit was organised by Ireland North West MEPs and TRAN members Sean O’Neachtain and Jim Higgins.

Ms. Quinn called for a review of the EU Transportation Policy that took into account Ireland’s unique status as an island nation within the EU. “As citizens of the EU, Irish people are being somewhat discriminated against by the transportation rules which are geared toward continental countries. These common rules give little consideration to Ireland’s unique transportation needs as a country that is cut off from

the rest of Europe,” stated the Mayor. She urged the committee members to consider a review of the rules that apply to transportation to and from Ireland, particularly with regard to grant support for mobile assets such as aircraft and ferries. “TRA N must look to enhancing connectivity between Ireland and the wider Union by pledging increased support to air and sea terminals across the country. One such support could be the provision of grant aid towards the reopening of the strategically important Cork to Swansea sea route,” she concluded.

Murphy Commercials join Volvo Truck & Bus Network


aving provided general maintenance and repair service for Volvo Truck & Bus in the West for a number of years, Murphy Commercials (Galway) has been officially appointed to the Volvo Truck & Bus Dealer Network. From their Cloughaun, Claregalway facility, the full range of Volvo parts, service and repairs will be carried out from their 10-bay workshop from Monday to Friday – 9am – 6pm and from 9am – 1pm on Saturdays.

Founded by Des and Deirdre Murphy in 1988, the company has heretofore worked in close partnership with Irish Commercials at Naas and this relationship will continue in terms of new and used sales of Volvo Trucks and Buses. “We’re looking forward to working more closely with Volvo,“ said Des. “We already have a very good relationship and they have been a great help in gett ing properly integrated into the Dealer Network. These Steve Dewhurst (M.D., Volvo Bus), Deirdre and Des Murphy and Göran Nyberg (M.D., Volvo Group UK Limited) at are exciting times for us!” the official signing ceremony for Murphy Commercials who have joined the Volvo Dealer Network.



NEWS 111

Trailer 2009 on track


ith trade shows and exhibitions few and far between this year due to the economic climate, one event Trailer 2009 is reaping the ill-wind as apart from trailer manufacturers showcasing their latest products, some truck producers will also be present. Organised by SAV, the Professional Organisation of Flemish Road Hauliers and Logistics Service Providers, Trailer 2009 will be held at Kortrijk Xpo, from November 20-24. Kortrijk lies in the Belgium province of West Flanders alongside the River Leie.

As usual the bi-ennial Trailer Show at Kortrijk will again set the scene for all the latest in trailers, bodywork, accessories and telematics covering road haulage and logistics. Even though there is no direct link by air to Kortrijk, a one day visit is achievable through Brussels via Ghent or through Lille, France. More details on

Transport Ireland 2009 Conference – 8th April, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin


he 2nd Annual Transport Ireland Conference will examine strategic issues around the development of Ireland’s Transport System, including roads and rail infrastructure, public transport, ports as well as examining issues around the movement of freight.

“Against the current economic backdrop, the transport sector is facing many challenges. However, investment in Ireland’s transport network is vital to stimulate and support the

all-island economy. Th is Conference has been organised to examine the strategic issues at the centre of the development of Ireland’s transport system, with an emphasis on the role of transport in driving the economy and the impact of the current recession on transport investment,” stated Sandra Dane, Conference Manager.

University of Westminster and Dr. Iain Docherty, author and transport advisor to the Scott ish Government.

Alongside local transport sector professionals, the speaker panel also includes a number of visiting experts including Professor Austin Smyth,

Further details on

Both Minister Dempsey T.D., and Minister Conor Murphy M.P., MLA, will each outline their Government’s transport policies and priorities.

Win Stobart Members Club Merchandise

The Eddie Stobart Members Club has thousands of members worldwide bringing together old and young alike with one thing in common – a passion for trucks. For £15.00, there are many features and benefits of being a member of the Eddie Stobart Members Club. Just log onto And with Stobart Motorsport making good progress in the World Rally Championship, there is now a range of motorsport related merchandise and gifts to choose from alongside the broad line-up of Eddie



Stobart products from the Members Club and on-line store – To acknowledge Eddie Stobart’s presence in the Irish Road Transport Sector, Fleet Transport has three Stobart Members Club Prize Packs to give away. The mixed bag will contain items from the following selection:– Corgi Scania R Series Model and Curtainside Trailer, Matthew Wilson Ford Focus WRC Model Car, Ladies and Mens Stobart Motorsport Jackets, Stobart

Motorsport Team Shirt plus mugs, key rings, pens and postcards signed by Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin, Stobart Motorsport WRC driver and co-driver. To be in with a chance to win one of these prize packs, just send in your name, address and mobile number to Fleet Transport/Stobart Members Club Competition, Fleet Publications, D’Alton Street, Claremorris, County Mayo or by email to Closing date 24th April 2009.


MAN TGS 32.400 8x2 – 6BL


he Bulk Tank System for milk collection became popular in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s but in Ireland it took another fifteen years before the milk cans collected by tractors and trailers would be replaced by trucks. “Bulk tanks,” according to Shane Hamilton’s book Trucking Country, “allowed bigger trucks operated by fewer drivers to visit more farms spread out even longer distances. Dairy plant managers and agricultural economists likewise touted the system as a way to reduce transport costs and thereby transform the political economy of milk. For milk plants needing large volumes of cheap but sanitary milk to satisfy their supermarket contracts, the bulk tank system eventually became a necessity." Through various mergers and acquisitions, smaller dairies dotted around Ireland amalgamated, leading to the closing down of creameries in rural areas. In our region North Connaught Farmers (NCF) Co-Op emerged in 1972 from the amalgamation of four Co-Ops in the North-West with six more added within two years. NCF then merged with Leitrim based Kiltoghert Co-Op in 2000 to form Connaught Gold, which today employs over 500 people in the Province. Initially, cut down rigid trucks were replaced by authentic tractor-units that pulled shiny new single axle bulk milk tankers. Brown coloured Hinos wearing the NCF corporate livery were to be seen far and wide across the region. Their narrow dimensions suited the tight and twisty lane-ways in rural Ireland not to mention the 10


narrow gateways into the farmyards. Gradually the popular Japanese models were replaced by Scanias, which in many cases, proved a bit too wide as light clusters and indicator lenses fell victim to damage. The odd steel bumper got bent forward too! Over time things have improved but the life of the driver has not eased as decline in dairy farming has led to longer distances between collections. In some areas three axle rigid trucks are used in the milk collection business and in order to increase efficiencies there is a shift away from these 6x4 units. MAN Truck & Bus UK seized the opportunity and in association with its colleagues in Munich (along with a third party) developed right hand drive versions of an 8x2 (rear steer) rigid chassis specifically for the milk collection, fuel delivery and crane/plant platform sectors. Using an authorised supplier, a steering

axle was fitted behind the front axle of a long wheelbase rear steer 6x2 chassis. In this case MAN’s TGS ‘M’ Day Cab is used but a sleeper cab can be fitted if required. Grossing 32 tonnes a drawbar version can also be specified which will bring the gross weight up to 44 tonnes. Some 155 kg lighter than the equivalent 8x4, the TGS 8x2 offers 23,040 kg payload. Although 1,041 kg heavier than the standard 6x2 rigid almost 5,000 kg more can be carried. The drivetrain chosen for this unique vehicle is MAN’s proven D20 400 hp Euro 4 EGR engine mated to ZF’s 12 speed automated transmission. Spent a day behind the wheel of this special white liquid carrier and on the instructions of MAN Truck & Bus Product Engineer, John Griffith, numerous A and B roads in the heart

COVER/TEST of Cheshire were driven. Typical terrain for this type of vehicle. It took four steps up to get into the vehicle which would keep the driver in good shape upon doing this so often each day. The M Day Cab was spacious enough for the application in mind while the powerplant gearbox worked smoothly and in harmony at all times. Near Tunstall Bank the 1 in 6 ascent was climbed at ease while at Alsagers Bank a stiffer challenge was conquered – 60 kp/h @ 1300 rpm in 10 th gear. The 8x2’s manoeuvrability and nimbleness was much appreciated around Betley’s B roads where narrow farm tracks are all too frequent. Even while driving through Crewe and Nantwich it almost felt ‘urbanised’ as it trawled through the illegally parked cars and disrespectful drivers. The revised mirror concept with wide-angles and cyclops in the new TGS provided excellent visual assistance in this environment. Another major improvement was the quietness of the truck all round from the reduced engine vibration to litt le or no wind noise. Drivers will fi nd it easier to concentrate on their work as a result. Not only was the rearmost axle steering, it can also be hydraulically lifted when required. While not looking significantly different to an 8 wheeler rigid, the fact that it can turn 360 degrees practically on a six-pence makes the MAN TGS 8x2 a fantastically useful vehicle for numerous other applications. For now it’s a more than suitable house for the white stuff .

Spec Check Make/Model: Engine/Power: Torque @ rpm Transmission: Tyres: GVW/Capacity:

MAN TGS 32.400 8x2 – 6BL MAN D2066 /400 bhp Euro 4 EGR 1900 Nm @ 1100-1400 rpm MAN Tiptronic 12 speed automated 315/80R22.5 (all round) 32,000 tonnes/21,500 litres

Plated Capacity/Configuration/Suspension Axle 1: 8000kg/steered, non-driven/steel Axle 2: 8000kg/steered, non-driven/steel Axle 3: 11,500 kg/non-steered, driven/air Axle 4: 7,500kg/lift ing/steered, non-driven/air

Payne's Dairies For this trial run in this unique vehicle, we are indebted to Payne's Dairies Ltd for allowing the press to drive the MAN TGS 8x2 prior to putt ing it on the roads around its home base in Yorkshire. Father and Son team Brian and Charles Payne were large dairy farmers before diversifying into Bulk Milk transport. Originally Paynes operated two tankers for collecting milk from twenty farms and their business steadily increased to thirteen vehicles collecting and delivering in excess of 260,000 litres of raw and processed milk daily.

Wheelbase dimensions:Axle 1 to Axle 2: 1795 mm Axle 2 to Axle 3: 3705 mm Axle 3 to Axle 4: 1350 mm

Total spread 6850 mm

Late last year Paynes took delivery of the fi rst two specially specified 4 axle Rigids (with three steering axles) built to order by MAN Trucks in Germany. Such was the efficiencies gained by the fi rst MAN TGS in terms of manoeuvrability, payload and time saving that the deposit was put on another one straight away. As with the fi rst purchase, the new 8x2 replaces 6x4 rigids with 16,000 litres liquid capacity, normally, 19,300 litres will be carried on each full load. The 8x2 MAN which will also be double driven, is future proofed in that it has a tank capacity of 21,500 litres that will bring the gross weight up to 35 tonnes (should the weight limits increase in due course).

Text: Jarlath Sweeney–



All Time ‘going forward’ Unique Econic – a truck for all seasons with Hino


n light of the downturn in the Construction Industry, Tom Horan, Managing Director of Horan Developments has specified a rather unique truck to help streamline his business during this difficult time. In fact his new Mercedes-Benz Econic 2629 6x4 is a world fi rst due to its numerous applications on board. The 290 hp (Euro 5) 26 tonne has a dismountable Hook Loading Body fitted with a Palfi nger 8500 crane. Drop this Kelly built tipper body, and the Econic turns into an industrial skip carrier. But that’s not all, it has a built-in compressor, Sat Nav and

mobile phone systems and even a fax machine with its own line! Four cameras and a recording unit compliment the driver’s visibility around this head-turning vehicle. Its transmission is fully automatic and its crew-cab style design has a low entry height suitable for people with disabilities. Horan Developments prides itself on being an equal opportunities employer. Pictured at the handover are Malcolm McKinstry, HGV Sales Executive, MUTEC Mercedes-Benz and Tom Horan.


ll Time Transpor t, Coolock, Co. Dublin is one of the latest purchasers of the New Hino 500 Series. Pictured here is its New Hino GH 1826 18 tonner fitted with curtainside body sold by J Harris Assemblers, Naas Road, Dublin.

Hendricks Striking Stralis!


emember the days of the Mondello Truck Show? If so, you may recall one of the transport companies that stood out - Hendricks Haulage, Ballycoolin, Co. Dublin. Well, all these years later, their award winning customisation continues in the new Iveco Stralis 440S50 4x2 500hp tractor unit put on the road recently, supplied by Truck Dealers International, Naas Road, Dublin.

McNally Crane Hire – no job too …. high!

Grange Builders Providers Goes GREEN! L


he Green in the company logo of Grange Builders Providers is all the more significant now that it has taken delivery of the fi rst Smith Electric Newton 10 tonne truck to go into service in Ireland. Fitted with a curtainside body built by Cafco, Dublin and Zepro tail lift supplied by TSS, Dublin, this was a joint sale by Electric Vehicles Ireland, Tu l l a more a nd CP Commercials, Dublin.

Jnr, Manager of Grange Builders Providers, Baldoyle and David Mullen, M.D., Electric Vehicles Ireland at the handover.

iebherr customer McNally Crane Hire insisted that its batch of new LTF 1045-4.1 (45 tonne) cranes be fitted onto the fleet of new Volvo FM 8x4 440 T-Ride rigid chassis, purchased from McDonnell Commercials (Monaghan). Cathal and Hugh McNally worked closely with McDonnell’s Sales Executive Martin Keenan and Willie Wylie from Liebherr to ensure that the specification of the trucks matched the requirements of the 45 tonne Liebherr cranes. All of the Volvo truck chassis were delivered to McDonnell Commercials from Sweden where they were adapted to suit the crane and painted prior to being shipped to Liebherr in Ehingen, Germany. As a result the LTF 1045-4.1 was the fi rst Liebherr 45t crane to be

Pictured are Peter Costel lo, M .D., CP Commercials, Peter Cosg rave



fitted on a Volvo chassis. To date Mc Nally Crane Hire (Monaghan) has three Libherr cranes fitted to Volvo truck chassis.


Irish Commercials’ new facility goes


t’s the No.1 dealership development that we have, the best I’ve ever seen,” these words were spoken proudly by Göran Nyberg, Regional ManagingDirectorforVolvoTruckUK&Ireland Managing Director for Volvo Truck UK & Ireland on his fi rst official visit to Irish Commercials’ impressive new Volvo Dealership in Naas. Mr. Nyberg will mark his new appointment in this region with this new flagship development located just off the M7. “Th is is truly a stateof-the-art premises,” he said after the guided tour conducted by Barry and Conor Horan. “I have worked and travelled to Volvo dealer sites all over the World and to me this is No.1. Th is development is well thought out, clearly demonstrating Volvo’s core values – quality, safety and environment. While the building itself looks big, there is not too much of anything,” he stressed. “For example, the sales offices on the ground floor are not oversized, but meet customers needs in an efficient way. I am really, really proud of this development. Th is is a longterm investment and strongly indicates Irish Commercials’ commitment to the Volvo Truck & Bus brands.” While sett ing standards in regard to size, design and construction the development is very much in line with Volvo’s own guidelines. “Irish Commercials, in planning this new facility conformed to this criteria while adding a number of new and creative ideas,” added Göran. “All the parameters of our core values are expressed under this roof from energy saving to significantly reducing the carbon footprint. I am so impressed with what has happened here that I have asked our 15 member Regional Board to come to Naas and have their next meeting here in June. All functions of Volvo Trucks European division will be represented at this gathering, and as you know Europe is the best performing region for Volvo Trucks globally, so I am both proud and happy to say that Irish Commercials has set the standard, for others to follow.” Th is visit will take place in June to co-incide with the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway. In the presence of Mr. Nyberg and Joe Roddy (Dealer Development, Volvo Trucks), Barry and Conor Horan brought us on a guided tour of their new facility. Barry began by outlining how the project evolved over the past two years to completion at the beginning of 2009. “We began by familiarising ourselves with Volvo’s dealer standards, and then while ensuring that these would be met in every area of the design, 14


more or less s t a r t e d f r om scratch! We wanted to have a bright and open plan office area that would be both welcoming for customers and encourage communication amongst our staff . Th is has turned out fantastically well and there is a great buzz in all areas during the day, as workings of the four areas, Sales, Service, Parts and Partech all converge.” The facility comprises c. 80,000 sq.ft and has capacity to cater for the addition of further services in the future. With quality being to the fore among Volvo’s core values, the fi rst few steps inside this impressive building sets the scene. To the right in the cleverly designed foyer are the glazed sales offices, squared-off in a line. In the centre are the Truck & Bus Parts and Service counters, side by side, and, to the left is the att ractive display of their sister company, Partech Ltd. Upstairs are the accounts and additional administration sections as well as the all-for-one canteen and staff locker room with showers. Games room and customer waiting areas are also fitted out here on this floor. A round the back is the drive-through 13 bay service/workshop area and the

HGV/PSV and LGV VTN Test Centre situated in an adjacent building. Göran Nyberg also mentioned the environment as another of Volvo’s core values and from what Barry described this aspect is so seriously considered in every aspect of this facility’s design that if every new building had these eco-friendly aspects fitted, the World would be a cleaner place.

Joe Roddy; Dealer Development Manager, Volvo Trucks; Conor Horan; Sales Manager, Irish Commercials; Barry Horan; Managing Director, Irish Commercials and Göran Nyberg, Managing Director, Volvo Truck UK and Ireland.


s beyond Volvo Truck’s core values For instance, PIR sensor and photocell lights switch on/off automatically, the heating system is fuelled by used oils and lubricants, solar panels on the roof provide hot water, the building is vented through heat exchangers to prevent heat loss, the roof lighting panels make up 20% of the total roof area and the workshop doors are fully glazed to reduce the need for artificial light, even the rain water is harvested for vehicle washing. In light of all the environmental issues facing us at the moment, these innovations implemented by Irish Commercials go a long way to reduce the transport industry’s carbon footprint. While on the tour of the vast workshop section, featuring the 13 bay drive through service bays, we saw the innovative Express Lane that significantly helps operators reduce downtime. Minor repairs are undertaken here in this pit-stop style concept and no pre-booking is required. A comprehensive stock of Volvo special tools are available to hand via the Parts Department, backed up by a 93 per cent fi rst-pick-availability on spare parts with the remaining balance delivered to the parts department before doors open the next morning. Under the direction of Parts Manager Pat Conlon, three delivery vans serve the greater Dublin region twice daily with each van driver having individual access to their own collection/ dispatch bins adjacent to the Parts warehouse. Two additional vans deliver to other customers around the country. Göran Nyberg has not seen this before at a Volvo Dealership. Göran, who has spent some time in Asia, made one suggestion while in our presence that would increase efficiencies on the workshop floor, something we discovered that is already under consideration by Barry and Conor Horan. “In

Where it all began


rish Commercials began trading in September 1970, and then moved to the Naas area, two years later when they secured the Volvo Truck franchise, with Sales and Service for the renowned Swedish brand being carried out on a new 3 acre site in the Naas Industrial Estate. In 1981, Irish Commercials was bought in a management buy-out by Brendan Horan and the late Jim Kelleher. Brendan, who has been the driving force behind the Company for many years, remains a Director of the company and has now passed on the day to day running of Irish Commercials into the capable hands of his sons Barry (Managing Director) and Conor (Sales Director),

some service centres,” explained Göran, “Part Runners now carry out the function of collecting the required parts from the Parts counter and delivering to the technician working on the vehicle. Th is saves a lot of time all round and does not break the technicians momentum on the job.” Pat Conlon then brought us through the two-level parts storage area where the fast moving spares are placed nearest the front and back counters. Apart from a 24/7 parts call out service, Irish Commercials also provide an around-the-clock-emergency Volvo breakdown assistance. The Company also provide Parts and Service support for a range of Bus & Coach Bodies including Wrights, Sunsundegui and Jonckheere.

In the short-term, the Horan brothers plan to expand into other areas of the commercial vehicle business, and a number of additional products and services are currently under consideration. All in good time.

supported by a strong management team which includes the Parts Manager Pat Conlon, the Financial Controller Ciaran Bolger and former Parts Director Brian Murphy, who has been involved in the management of the Company since the early days, and who has recently taken on the role of Company Chairman.

to The Gateway Osberstown, Naas. And what a landmark building it is, which will be soon accessible from the M7. This planned intersection is due for completion in 2010, which will open up the newly created business park which is planned to include a mixture of Office, Industrial, Retail, Residential and Leisure activity.

During the design and construction of the new facility, Brendan was on site almost daily, keeping the builders and the other contractors “on their toes” and his keen eye for detail and the quality of finish in all areas is testament to Brendan’s continuous involvement in the project. After more than 35 years, the next chapter of the Irish Commercials’ story takes us to the move

“From this new facility, our customers can look forward to an enhanced and comprehensive range of service and facilities with highly skilled personnel dedicated to providing the best possible range of transport solutions,” explained Conor Horan, Sales Director.

Text & Photos: Jarlath Sweeney–



NWTC to provide Driver CPC Training


he NorthWest Training Centre (NWTC) has been informed that its application to become an RSA approved Training Provider for the delivery of Driver CPC Training has been successful. The Driver CPC regulations are being introduced to comply with European law (EU Directive 2003/59/EC), which changes the way in which professional drivers of Buses and Trucks are to

be trained. The regulations apply to new and existing drivers. New drivers wishing to obtain a bus or truck licence will be required to complete two Driver CPC theory tests in addition to the existing theory test. The practical driving test will also be extended and the driver will now be questioned on safety, quality of service and technical aspects associated with being a professional driver. A driver who currently holds a bus or truck licence will automatically be entitled to a Driver CPC through acquired rights (grandfather rule). However, all bus and truck drivers will be required to complete one day of periodic training every year with an RSA approved Training Provider. Brian Sweeney, Director at the NorthWest Training Centre explained, “We submitted a very detailed application to the RSA in October 2008 and were informed last month that our application was successful. The RSA visited and inspected our training centre and carried out a detailed review of our facilities, quality control procedures, instructor qualifications, AV equipment and IT support network. We are


delighted to report that we passed with flying colours in every aspect of the inspection.” Brian continues to say that “NorthWest Training Centre plans to deliver Driver CPC training at various centres throughout Ireland consolidating our position as one of the leading provider of transport training services in the country. The Driver CPC training course is a welcome addition to our ever expanding portfolio of transport training courses that includes CPC for Transport Managers, Analogue and Digital Tachograph Training, ADR Driver Training, Advanced Driver Training, HGV Driver Training, Occupational First Aid and Health and Safety,” he concluded. The Driver CPC regulations have been in force in Ireland for Professional bus/coach drivers since the 10 September 2008 and will apply to truck drivers from 10 September 2009. NWTC Driver CPC courses are to be held in Dublin, Drogheda, Monaghan, Carrick-onShannon, Galway, Sligo and Letterkenny. For more information please refer to its website , call (074) 9168634 or email


Goodyear TreadMax Retread Tyre As Good As New




retread that is equal to a new tyre in terms of performance, reliability and appearance. That’s what Goodyear is promising with its latest truck steer and drive retread tyre, the TreadMax. That’s quite a bold claim, but Goodyear believes that thanks to using only the highest quality casings combined with an investment in technology in its Wolverhampton plant, its new mould cured retread tyre can potentially achieve the same fuel consumption and mileage performance as a new tyre.

TreadMax will be produced at Goodyear’s Wolverhampton plant as well at its Riom factory in France. The company has invested significantly in new inspection machinery in Wolverhampton, which also produces the Next Tread range of retreads. The plant also was the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar investment in a new rubber compound mixing facility in 2007, and installed a new buffing machine last year that will be used to make the new TreadMax tyres.

Business Restructuring The past year has seen a realignment of Goodyear’s logistics operations, with the Wolverhampton site becoming the hub for the distribution of the company’s retread truck tyres both in the UK and abroad. Acknowledging that there was a need to reduce the cost and complexity of the existing model, Goodyear has exited unprofitable business, and put a simpler structure in place for sales and distribution by focusing on dealing directly with customers. Instead of storing and consolidating stock in National

Distribution Centres in each country, tyres will now be shipped directly from the manufacturing plant to the customer. A further restructuring in the UK has resulted in a reduction in the number of service providers from around one thousand to approx imately 30 dedicated Contact Centre Specialists covering just over 100 locations.


Before a casing is selected for retreading it undergoes a rigorous four stage inspection process. A primary inspection before the tyres are even shipped to the Goodyear plant is followed by another visual check by certified inspectors. The third step involves checking for nail holes not visible to the naked eye using special equipment for this purpose. Finally the worn tyres are subjected to a shearography test to assess the structure and rigidity of the tyre and identify whether there are any separations or voids in the casing. In total about 50% of casings are deemed suitable for retreading.

repaired, and nonv u lc a n i z ed t re ad rubber applied. The tyre is then heated in a mould where the rubber vulcanizes and forms the new Goodyear tread design.

Once selected, the casing is buffed down, any small damages Text & Photos: Cathal Doyle –


TreadMax is the latest product to join the Max Technology tyre generation that was launched last year. The range includes the FuelMax for long distance driving with improved fuel economy, and the KMax for regional haulage. The new retread only uses casings from the Max Technology range of tyres, specifically suitably sized Regional RHD II and RHS II tyres as well as Marathon LHD II and LHS II tyres. Goodyear says that

the Max Technology tyres have been specifically designed to ensure that under normal conditions the tyres are robust and damage resistant enough to be suitable for top grade retreading. The TreadMax tyres utilize the same materials and tread patterns as used in the latest generation of new tyres.




Tyre Development Continues To Evolve


s the economic terrain shifts even closer towards the quick sand, the economics of the transport industry is no different to any other business and just keeping a fleet working and on the road is a major task. Fuel prices have dropped and while welcome, fuel still represents a substantial cost factor for all transport operators. Falling oil prices not only effect the direct price of diesel, it should also help to reduce the price of products such as tyres. Tyre manufacturers are at pains to point to the positive economic benefits of monitoring, maintaining and changing tyres. Apart from lower raw material costs, there are also savings to be gained in running costs from the proper maintenance of your tyres. We all know the benefits of running a fleet on good tyres and while there may be some fi nancial pain in the initial investment when you have to buy, there is a payback in lower running costs over the life of the tyre and the life of your vehicle. Recently Continental Tyres carried out a major test of a number of products in Italy. It tested vehicles using a range of tyres from several manufacturers and covered about one million kilometres. The results of this comprehensive trial revealed that substantial fuel savings are possible for all commercial vehicle fleets. Continental aimed to show that fuel consumption can be reduced in a number of ways. In addition to supplying all the fleets with information from tyre experts and training on efficient driving practices, a practical test was also performed adhering to strict guidelines. At the start of the test, the vehicles mileage was recorded along with the current fuel consumption figures, vehicle and tyre data. Of the 40 vehicles that took part, 30 came from fleets that operate domestically while the remainder ran on International routes. At the end of the four-month observation period, the mileages, consumption figures and tyre data were recorded again. So, all is not as negative as we are sometimes led to believe. There is a perception out there that many operators are not paying enough attention to the condition of their tyres and that poor tyres are a major problem when it comes to the safety of our national fleet. Annual test statistics carried out by Regulatory Body VOSA in the UK shows that while the roadworthiness of the heavy commercial fleet is declining, tyres do not feature



heavily in the league table of roadside test failures. Indeed, tyres do not feature at all in the top ten failure reasons for either trucks or buses and coaches. Tyres however come in seventh place for trailer failures but account for just 1% of all rejects reasons. While we don’t have recent accurate figures to hand for Ireland, we can assume with a certain degree of accuracy that similar results could be expected since Irish trucks and trailers are regularly checked coming off the ferries into Britain. Now, more than ever there are deals to be done with the tyre companies. They, too, recognise the difficulties that HGV and PSV operators are enduring and are collectively taking steps to offer better value and a broader range of new tyres with the World economy centre stage. As raw material costs have been decreasing in line with reduction of oil prices there is scope for these savings to now be passed on to the customer. There are many good examples out there for trucks, trailers, buses and vans. Now is the right time to shop around and do a deal.

Aeolus Tyres


ince Aeolus Tyres arrived in Europe in 2004 the Chinese manufacturer has had but a single goal in mind: to supply truck and trailer tyres and of course the new range of Heuver branded Earthmover tyres at the lowest possible per-kilometre price. Over the last few years Aeolus Tyres has rapidly progressed and with the latest treads and designs, it can now take its place as an important player on the world market.


n January, Bridgestone announced that it has assumed full control of Bandag EMEA. onally Bandag EMEA was already operationally nd reporting to Bridgestone Europe, and the change in ownership is anotherr step towards the better integration of the two companies. Providing the best packaged solutions for fleets has been the business model pursued by both companies. Meanwhile, Bandag has launchedd

HN254 is suitable for front axle and trailer, offers excellent stability and extra wide tyre tread. HN369 is suitable for drive axle over short and medium

the BTM-WB, a new application specific tread product designed for fleets whose trailer and semitrailer tyres have to cope with harsh, wear-intensive conditions on a wide variety of on-road and off-road surfa This extremely robust wide-single tread surfaces. al also performs well on drive axles if they are fitted with that type of tyre. Although the new BTM-WB has been designed to operate in off-road conditions, it also performs outstandingly on surfaced roads in local and even regional service. The BTM-WB is likely to become a firm favourite w fleets that have to deal with severe tyre with

even more - 3.52 litres/100km.


Now, in the midst of extremely tough market conditions, Continental’s truck tyre division has announced its most extensive product offensive so far. The new second-series R, (regional) L (long distance) and W (winter) truck tyres come in eight types in five sizes -295/80, 315/80, 315/70, 295/60 and 315/60. The new generation of tyres has been developed from scratch and is madee ffrom high-quality products for mad to ouug everyday use with the single tough aaim of clearly reducing costs in tth the transport industry.

oing back to that Italian test carried out by Continental, the results showed that on average vehicles fitted with Continental tyres produced fuel savings of around ten percent, compared to those on other tyres who achieved six percent. In total, the forty vehicles involved in the trial 6221,327 1,327 covered almost one million kilometres (621,327 ettrees, miles). The exact total was 986,155 kilometres, err an average of 26,653 km (16,561 miles) pper hee truck. According to internal figures, the stt fuel consumption at the start of the test was 35.1 litres/100 km, while during thee test, figures of 34.7 litres/100 km weree measured.

wear rates. Bridgestone, the parent company has built a strong reputation among t fleets for the costeffective performance and high mileage of its truck and bus tyre range. The latest generation of drive-axle tyres, M749, steer-axle tyre series, R249 and R168 trailer tyre range have contributed to that reputation.

medium sized vans. Its tread pattern is based on passenger car tyres. Continental’s Super Single van tyre offers a significant number of benefits to both customers and the environment. Load width of up to 25cm, can be achieved, allowing operators the option to load 1200mm Euro pallets, not an option with dual axle vehicles. Finally with average monthly temperatures in Ireland between October and April of 7 degrees Celsius, the VancoWinter 2 is the ideal tyre to use during the cold weather months. It has an optimum tyre footprint that ensures even wear, which coupled with a unique cold weather compound gives the VancoWinter 2 as much as 30% extra mileage potential.


Thirty percent of the vehicles showed a eyy clear reduction in consumption once they ngg applied certain techniques. Their saving ye yre was 1.97 litres/100km regardless of the tyre e brand they were using. However vehicles fifitt tted sttsaved with Continental tyres throughout the test savedd

C Continental’s van tyre range iis based around the Vanco bbrand. Vanco 2 for medium tto heavy vans now offers 20% m more mileage than the previous V Vanco product. The Vanco 2 aal also boasts excellent wet braking wi w with outstanding aquaplaning pr root protection. The VancoContact 2 ttyr re is suited for car-derived and tyre

Aeolus Tyres is immediately responding to lower raw material prices on the global market by lowering its prices. In doing so, this Chinese company is giving a clear signal and, is taking the lead in price reductions. In Europe, Aeolus Tyres sold over 250.000 new tyres in 2008.



distances. You get even wear, good grip in a variety of conditions and extra wide tyre tread.



From its Dutch base Aeolus has introduced two new patterns for 2009. HN254 and HN369 offer the advantage of longer mileage. This is provided by the special anti-wearing compound and the special designed wider tread. The new patterns are available in the following sizes: 295/80R22,5 and 315/80R22,5.


Tyre Manufacturers:- Truck, Bus,Trailer & Van








oodyear is one of the world’s largest tyre companies and employs about 70,000 people and manufactures its productss in more than 60 facilities inn 26 countries around the World. Goodyear Dunlop Europe’s range of products for commercial vehicles, buses and coaches includes more than 400 different tyres covering in excess of 55 sizes. Many of the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers fit tyres from Goodyear as standard, including Volvo, Renault Trucks,





SSc Scania, DAF, MAN, Mercedes-Benz and Iveco. G Goodyear also supplies tyres to all major trailer m manufacturers. Max Technology is the company’s latest generation of commercial vehicle tyres with e enhanced performance, which gives significant ccu customer and environmental benefits. Max Technology benefits include improvements to fuel consumption, shorter wet stopping, greater load capacity and longer tyre life. Max Technology includes high silica content tread compounds, innovative tread designs, advanced carcass construction and new sizes. This technology

provides Goodyear Regional RHS II and RHD II as well as the long haul Goodyear Marathon LHS II and LHD II tyres with performances that sets industry benchmarks. Covering 86% of the total truck tyre market, ures Conti’s low rolling resistance ensures improved fuel consumption. Whenn this is combined with longerr mileage, this provides low cost per kilometre for the operator. Longer life and a reduction in fuel usage also mean environmental benefits; using less carbon-based fuel and producing less CO2 .

deep tread depth, advanced silica compound and extra wide directional tread design. Multiple siping arrangement delivers excellent all season traction on the new long haul bus application tyre, the GT629 is available in 295/80R22.5. GT988+ in 385/55R22.5 is the new long haul trailer tyre featuring a new enhanced shoulder and special compound designed to deliver a lower rolling resistance. GT259 the new long steer axle tyre available in 385/55R22.5 with

385/65R22.5 currently in development features an extra w ide t read a nd solid shoulder design.


for 2008, further recognition that Agilis sets the standard for van operators who want increased grip, extended longevity, reduced fuel consumption and thus lower CO2 emissions.

indicated the merit of the Technology Award being presented to Agilis. Th is award is not presented every year but only when the judging panel identify such an important innovation as Agilis.”

Recently, the new Michelin Agilis van tyre scooped the prestigious What Van? Technology award

Presenting the What Van? Technology award to Michelin, editor Neil McIntee emphasised the significance of the Technology award. ”The attributes of the new Michelin Agilis light commercial vehicle tyre offer vehicle operators improvements in all sectors of a tyre’s performance. In judging this category these advantages clearly

This is the second national award for Agilis this year. Th is new Michelin tyre received the Environment Award in the 2008 Van Fleet World Honours, which recognised the environmental benefits of Agilis in reducing a vehicle fleet’s carbon footprint.




emperit is the Irish name in tyres and the Semperit Van-Life is the economical choice for van drivers. It is a long lasting performer that is the perfect fit for any light commercial.


niroyal has a long 40-year history of producing rain tyres and Uniroyal’s RainMax van tyre offers the ultimate in wet weather safety.

Benefiting from a directional double cone structure, Van-Life gives excellent braking thanks to its stiff tread pattern. Superb wet weather performance is achieved with a large number of double cone block edges which break through the water fi lm on the road. The wide closed shoulders allow efficient transmission of lateral forces giving superb handling and cornering ability.

On wet roads, three wide circumferential tread grooves provide for the rapid dispersion of water, and thereby minimise the risk of aquaplaning. For short braking distances, even on wet surfaces, the RainMax has a large ground contact patch and a large number of offset edges. Th is guarantees optimal grip on wet roads. The wide shoulder blocks and an optimised wet grip compound provide for additional grip when taking corners.


iTi, the Chinese tyre company which is also spreading its gospel across the EU has introduced a new Truck and Bus range of products. GAR821 is an all position tyre available in 295/80R22.5 specifically designed for regional bus applications. GT686 in 315/80R22.5 and 13R22.5 with 295/80R22.5 in development is a mixed service drive axle tyre featuring extra

Michelin ichelin recently confirmed that it has “cut back significantly” on operations at most of its plants worldwide because of the continuing global recession. Michelin says a month-on-month decline in demand for tyres in European, North American, Asian and South American markets is set to continue in 2009.

The Semperit Van-Life has high mileage potential thanks to uniform pressure distribution on its flat contour patch which reduces uneven wear. The VanLife is also fuel efficient and benefits from a kerb protector to help against sidewall damage.



A kerbing protector and a robust outer shoulder design help protect against unexpected sidewall contact, prolonging service life.



okohama's truck tyre range goes from strength to strength on the back of news that three of its tyres have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay programme in the United States. The SmartWay programme promotes cleaner, more efficient truck technologies. Yokohama’s RY617 steer tyre, 703ZL drive tyre and RY587MC2 trailer tyre met the SmartWay programmes rolling resistance criteria. The approval, means the tyres can be used on trucks that are SmartWay-certified.

Advance Pitstop


Bridgestone Truck Point

here are over 40 Advance Pitstop centres throughout Ireland carrying many services including various packages to fleet customers. At Advance Pitstop, no matter what the size or nature of your fleet is, they can provide tailored solutions for your business requirements.

ridgestone Truck Point is built around customer needs, whether the fleet operators are local, national or pan-European. Around Europe there are over 4000 fully equipped service vans with trained tyre fitters from a network of dedicated commercial tyre specialists supported by Bridgestone.


The service is provided through a network of over 2,000 Truck Tyres Specialists in Europe. Just callll the Multi-lingual call centre which is open 24 hours and 7 days. There is no payment on site and a fi xed charge for tyres and services.


To become a member and know that there iss ll: a Bridgestone Truck Point agent nearby call: Bridgestone Ireland Ltd. Tel: + 353 1 841 0000

Hanover Tyres Ltd.

Mobile Tyre Service Providers

Modern Tyre Service


anover Tyres has 11 branches nationwide and remains one of Ireland's largest independent tyre companies. Their independence is one of their great strengths. It means that they are in a position to give an unbiased view of all tyre brands on the Irish market. As well as being a stockist of all major brands they are also the exclusive agent for Toyo Tyres in Ireland.


reakdowns are costly and if it is a tyre problem, knowing who to call is vital for speed and peace of mind that you will get back on the road as quickly as possible. If you are local, your local call-out service makes most sense. But, if you are far away from your base it is essential that there is a mobile tyre service that you can trust.



Recently PCL was asked to supply 32,000 pencilstyle tyre pressure gauges for vehicles, vans and trucks, so that drivers have constant access to highly accurate equipment necessary to check their tyre pressures. PCL advised providing the TPG3 pocket gauge for use on ordinary vehicles and vans, and the TPG57 for larger vans and lorries.

CL is a world-leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of tyre inflation equipment and air distribution technology. PCL say that neglecting tyre maintenance can cause serious, even fatal, accidents, and the company, which uses the world’s most advanced technology in its industry, takes its responsibility to employees who drive as part of their jobs seriously.

Safe Europe

According to Paul Marriott, Operations Director at Safe Europe plc, “the proven benefits of Monityre, in terms of improved fuel economy and its green credentials, are equally as important to operators across Europe as well as here in the UK. Already we have att racted interest in

Safe Europe’s Monityre is an innovative tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that eliminates the issues associated with other monitoring systems, allowing operators to accurately and easily monitor tyre pressures within a fleet. Further information about the Monityre system can be obtained by contacting

afe Europe is on the look-out for new European distributors and agents for its Monityre tyre pressure monitoring system.

Safe Europe plc. by viewing the website on



our product from certain European countries and we are now in a position to make further ongoing distributor appointments throughout Europe.”



ith 26 centres throughout Northern Ireland, Modern Tyre Service currently service some of the largest and most prestigious fleets in Northern Ireland. Backed up with 30 emergency breakdown vans stationed across the province in the event of a tyre breakdown. They also offer a Europeanwide breakdown service operated through HI-Q Goodyear.


ontinental has it's own tyre pressure monitoring system for buses and trucks. It displays the precise pressure measurement for all wheels. Each wheel has a battery powered transmitter fitted to the inside of the tyre, a receiver attached to the vehicle chassis frame and a display on the dashboard, which provides information directly to the driver on the tyre pressure and temperature.



Tyre Maintenance and Tyre Safety


Text & Photos: Gerry Murphy –


Heavy Haulage

Ter Linden Transport delivers windmills ‘just-in-time’

Ter Linden Transport Company Director Nico Koster (left)

and owner Roland ter Linden: ”At least for heavy transport we are a long way from a single Europe.” (photo Schwertransportmagazin)



er Linden Transport in Doetinchem, the Netherlands, is a classic example of a company that has grown with its customers. And that in the literal sense. When one of the regular clients started producing windmills, Ter Linden Transport was automatically asked to provide the haulage of the 40 metre long sails (plus blades) and the windmill’s 90 ton generators throughout the whole of Europe. Th is type of work has become a daily routine for the Dutch heavy haulage specialists. At least it appears that way. "Because routine", according to the owner, Roland ter Linden, ‘is never the case during any of these weekly transport jobs. And he refers to the logistics puzzle that occurs with each trip, especially when the extremely long or heavy load must cross one or more borders. “We are – especially for heavy transport – still far from being a single Europe,” he says. “In Germany, you have to drive at night with extreme loads; in France it has to be by day. In one country a police escort is compulsory and in another not. And then you have the big difference in maximum permissible heights and axle configurations. It is regularly the case that we have to change the composition of the combination to comply with the regulations of the country we are entering. And this frequently means that we drive there with an empty combination because you need another type of tractor for example.”



The majority of the transport jobs that Ter Linden carries out depart from North and East Germany and Denmark, where some of the leading producers of windmills are based. And France is often the destination. “That is the largest windmill market in Western Europe,” says Nico Koster, Managing Director of Ter Linden. “Here are the newest locations for windmills; in the Netherlands and Germany, for example, there is more talk of a replacement market.” That existing windmills are replaced by new ones is possibly a solution for Ter Linden in this sector as there is rarely a return load. “That is not it,” answers Ter Linden. “The dismantling of existing windmills occurs mostly 6 months before the new ones arrive. Return freight only occurs sporadically. And also a regular load is not an option because the empty weight of a 4-axle tractor unit with a 7-axled trailer approaches the 40 tons mark. In many countries we could officially only carry a few hundred kilos.” When transporting windmill mast parts, blades (or sails) and generators the company from Doetinchem usually runs with combinations that have a length of 49 metres and a total weight of just above 150 tons. “Naturally, we also strive to increase efficiency,” continues Ter Linden. “Together with our supplier, Nooteboom, we have developed a trailer with a demountable midsection with which we can independently load and unload the generators, which weigh

around 70 to 90 tons. Th is way we don’t have to wait at the destination for the arrival of a heavy 160 to 180 tons crane, which you need for this kind of work. That takes nothing away from the fact that delays on windmill erection sites are the most common thing in the world. The main reason? The wind! Why? Because windmills are logically sited in areas where statistically the most wind exists. This is often the problem when erecting the up to 100 metre high constructions and the most important reason – also for us – why regularly things must be changed at the very last moment. And that requires us to have maximum flexibility; we deliver the windmill components literally ‘just-in-time’.” The Ter Linden truck park comprises around sixty trailers and forty tractors, almost all DAFs. “A deliberate choice,” explains Koster. “First of all we are quite patriotic and fi nd that we as a Dutch company must choose Dutch products. But also for pure business reasons DAF is the best for us, not in the least because the supply of parts in Europe is extremely important. Whenever a technical hitch arises it is always the case of having a regular 4x2 tractor pulling the trailer. And such a heavy four-axle XF FTM tractor is not found on every street corner. In other words: in the event of a defect it has to be repaired on the spot. Ignoring the fact that the DAFs do their work without any kind of problem, there is no other truck builder in the whole of Europe that has such a good parts service as DAF.”

Heavy Haulage

More than 510 hp unnecessary The Ter Linden f leet comprises almost 100 per cent DAFs, whereby the majority are from XF Series. Axle configurations vary from 4x2, 6x2, 6x4 and 8x4. “Our heaviest are fitted with the 12.9 litre PACCAR MX engine with 510 hp,” says Koster. “They deliver such a high torque that they easily compare with other makes of vehicle with more than 600 hp. Moreover, the others often struggle to keep up with the DAFs.”

For the transport of windmill mast parts, sails and generators, the company from Doetinchem ‘goes’ up to combinations with a length of 49 metres and a total weight of just above 150 tons.

The majority of the transport jobs that Ter Linden carries out depart from North and East Germany and Denmark, where some of the leading producers of windmills are based. And France is frequently the destination.



APRIL 2009


Tree Planting Ceremony IRHA Council Members 2009 County: Cavan Subs: Clare Subs: Cork

Subs: Doing their bit for the environment! Newly elected IRHA President Vincent Caulfield, Minister Dempsey T.D., and Thomas Eivers – Assistant Manager of Knightsbrook Hotel planting a tree at the IRHA Conference 2009.

Transport Minister Addresses Conference


uoting an ancient Chinese Philosopher, Minister Noel Dempsey T.D., told IRHA delegates, “We live in interesting times.” He continued by informing those present that Government would be introducing unpopular but necessary measures in order that our economy will be ready for the upturn when it comes. He promised that the Transport Forum he is setting up will have representation from the IRHA. In a move that the Minister may have thought will be popular with hauliers, he outlined proposals to allow a C.P.C. holder represent up to four companies and fifty vehicles. In reply, newly elected IRHA President Vincent Caulfield welcomed the Minister’s comments and paid tribute to the working relationship he had with him on improving the N5 when he was in a different Ministry. He also asked the Minister to work with the Association in trying to eliminate illegal operators and to recognise the contribution we make as an industry.

Donegal Sub: Dublin

Sub: Galway Sub: Kildare Sub: Kilkenny Subs: Kerry Sub:

Name: George McCabe Sean Cole Peter McVitt y Paul Connole Pat Hehir Eoin Gavin Laurence O’Connor Gordon O’Keeffe Tony Doyle John Downey John Dennehy Michael Hartnett John O’Donovan Eugene O’Sullivan Brendan Doyle John O’Donovan Tony O’Driscoll Sean Buckley George Mills Michael McGrane Ciaran Dowling Jerry Kiersey Cyril McGuinness Michael Diviney Paul Tuohy Austin Gilligan John Kenny Michael Long Tom Dunne Michael Dunne Anthony Dunne Denis Molloy Nicky Hoyne Harold Delaney John O’Driscoll Dan O’Driscoll

In conclusion Vincent paid tribute to his new Management Team and promised that no

County: Laois Subs: Leitrim Limerick Sub: Longford Sub: Louth Sub: Mayo Sub: Meath Subs: Monaghan Subs: Off aly Sub: Roscommon Sub: Sligo Sub: Tipperary Subs: Waterford Westmeath Wexford Wicklow

Name: Richard Persse Ger Hyland Victor Stanley Gerry McGinley Brendan Ryan Pat Brennan Brendan O’Reilly Martin Murphy Paul McKean Jim McDonnell Paul Flynn Michael McManamon Brian Cunningham Brendan Conlon Jim Gallagher Mark Caff rey Gerard McArdle Stanley Lowey Paddy Keenan Tom Holland Noel Healion Larry Colgan Liam Clifford John Spallin Alexis Casey Cian Kelly Jimmy Connell Alex English Paul Donovan Gerard Coughlan Paul Jackman John Farrelly John Breen Davy Kehoe John McGarr

stone would be left unturned in representing Members.

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.


KOTR II Minister and the C.P.C. Minister Dempsey came to address the delegates at the recent IRHA Conference in Trim. As it was held in his hometown the Minister was proud to welcome representatives from all over Ireland, and empathised with those present about the difficulties currently faced but assured everybody that the future was bright. Then came the clanger. Minister Dempsey thought he was bringing good news to the sector by announcing a relaxation of the Road Transport Operators C.P.C. regime. He may think hauliers were being ungrateful at his announcement that a holder of the Certificate of Competence in Road Transport could represent up to four companies and forty trucks. Effectively what the Minister is doing is eliminating illegal haulage by legalising it. A great days work, Minister. Thank you.

Rail Freight A notion of putting freight onto the railways is always in some peoples mind. It conjures up an image of a clean environment and the removal of traffic from the roads. For others it conjures up an image of reduced rates. Rail freight may become a viable option in the future and although road and rail are different modes of travel, a tax incentive or environmental tax may change the dynamics in the future. As for truck operators, which have invested in Euro 4/5 technology, they cannot allow a favourable tax situation for railways which would put them at a disadvantage. Irish Rail seems only to be presently focussed on passenger travel. However, if rail freight ever manages to become a reality it will be a change for them. Also EU regulations are very clear when it comes to competition between rail operators and track providers. Will it ever happen? Who knows, but not for a long time I think.

New Management Team Following the A.G.M. in March a new Management Team takes up the running of the IRHA. Starting with an experienced President Vincent Caulfield, no doubt this team will hit the ground running. Taking stewardship of the IRHA at this difficult time is a challenge. Our industry faces severe difficulties and there are enough of fights to be taken on outside the Association without having any difficulties within. Events post, during and prior to the Conference should have cleared any doubts and legacy issues on the Council floor. In his opening address to delegates newly installed IRHA President Vincent Caulfield said he wanted his tenure to be non-confrontational. People should listen and hear what he said. Now is the time for all to face the one way.

Thick Skinned – deep!


ots of little things that we learned in our young years often stand us in later life. You might have to make a few necessary adjustments but by and large you can adapt them. For example, it was never a good idea to go looking in your mother’s handbag. Always better bring it to her, than to go rooting through it. Even for an adult and a married man that still stands as good advise. Learned a good lesson in that a few years ago when herself forgot her handbag and rang home for me to get a phone number out of it. You can imagine the conversation. “It’s a pink book and it is on the top, you cannot miss it.” As I was going through it I could see no sign of a pink notebook or anything else for that matter that even resembled it. Eventually came a curt comment on the phone. “It’s OK, I found it in my other bag here.” and then she hung up. However, in the meantime I had come across a couple of curious items in this bag. A cutt ing out of a newspaper, a padded envelope with English stamps on it and a small bott le of tablets. It might be hard to believe it, but I could not get it out of my head for a while. Inside a week or so I had explanations for all of the clues I found in the ‘handbag’. I swore after that there would be no more looking in the handbag. You think I would have learned my lesson, but last week I was doing a trip in the Hairy Fella’s lorry. I was hanging around for a while waiting to get loaded. It was raining and I looked around the cab to see if there was anything worthwhile to read. Nothing - only old newspapers. I set about fl icking through them. In the middle of the pile was our own local paper. As I was reading through it, there was a piece torn out from the Jobs Section. There are not that many jobs going. Had the Hairy Fella seen a better job? Was he thinking of leaving me? Be Gob, after twenty-five years it would be a pity for that to happen. I could not sett le myself. In and out of the lorry. If I rang herself she would say, "don't be annoying yourself." I would have a long way to drive until I got near enough home to get a local paper. I could get no paper that night. All the

likely shops were closed or sold out. When I got in home I quietly enquired for the paper and was told it was around somewhere. I could not fi nd it anyplace. “It might be below in the office,” she said from the bathroom. I knew I would not sleep until I knew what job he was thinking about. Down I went and there on the counter was the paper. As I thumbed through it fast to the Jobs Page wasn’t the same section gone out of that paper. Then I thought, there must be another man thinking of leaving. When I got up home I asked the wife if she knew anything about it. As usual she was cool enough about it. It certainly was not going to keep her awake. Next morning when I went down to the office everybody was cheerful and chatt y. My nose was itching and I was a bit nervous as well. Herself arrived in behind me, picked up the newspaper and was thumbing her way through it until she got to the Jobs Page. “Who was at my paper?” she blurted out. “Oh, sorry” says the Hairy Fella. “I took it.” Straight out with it, she came. “What job are you applying for?” Like John Wayne the Hairy Fella opened his wallet and took out the bit of the newspaper. “The young lads won the semi fi nal and I was gett ing as many pictures as I could.” He turned it around and on the back was an advert for a Beauty Consultant. He laughed and said, “You surely did not think I was going for that job!” Me and my nose!!

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.





IRHA Council meeting attendees

Conference Venue; Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, County Meath.

Brenda Daly (Dublin Port) and Peadar Mullen - Spot Prize winner

David Glover and Nick Marshall, Marshall Glover Solicitors

Eileen McHugh, Sandra, Julie & Celia Keenan

Brenda Daly (Dublin Port) and Paul Tyrell (LD Lines) Spot Prize winner

John Brewer, Liam Brewer and Gordon O’Keefe

John Kenny - Spot Prize winner and Liam Brewer

Vincent Caulfield, IRHA President, Minister Noel Dempsey T.D., and Catherine Malony IRHA HQ

Rugby Star Mick Galway entertain the crowd at the Annual Dinner

Liam Brewer and Sandra Tuohy, O2

Liam Brewer addressing the Conference

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.



NEWS IN BRIEF FROM HEAD OFFICE... IRHA, Suite 6, Gowna Plaza, Bracetown Business Park, Clonee, County Meath. Tel: 01 801 3380 Fax: 01 825 3080

Congestion Charges International Transport Consultants Faber Mausell has been retained by the National Roads Authority to look at methods and make recommendations to implement Congestion Charging. Recently Transport Minister Mr. Noel Dempsey T.D., has made more comments that indicate we will see congestion charges in place within a few years. A spokesperson for the N.R.A. has claimed that the Report would not necessarily recommend Congestion Charges, it will likely suggest traffic management options to eliminate traffic bott lenecks.

National Employment Right Authority (NERA) Inspections Many hauliers have had a visit from N.E.R.A., the agency that looks after employee’s rights. Most visits are announced and your company will be contacted in advance. However, inspectors can arrive unannounced. In general the inspector will look for the following:•

Establish who is responsible for record keeping for employees

Examine the records and make sure they are compliant Determine pay rates from roosters and wage records Inform the employer of any legislative breeches They may interview employees

• • •

In some cases inspectors may dig deeper to see if holiday pay is being paid and also, if under age employees are on the premises. Following on from an inspection NERA will contact the company. It may be one of three courses of action :-

P.I.A.B. Still Delivering

With 23,000 awards amounting to over €530 million, the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) claims to have saved claimants and insurance companies up to €250 million in the past 5 years of operation. One of the main reasons for the savings in legal fees is that claims are being dealt with on average four times faster than through the Courts.

• •

A spokesperson for the Board claimed that most people were now realising that P.I.A.B. awards were similar to Court awards. Now called the Injuries Board more money was paid out last year than the previous year. This is because there were some legacy issues from old High Court cases. Concluding the report, the spokesperson said that there was no statistical reason for insurance premiums to increase. He fi nished by saying, ”If premiums are increasing I would like to see the insurance companies present the facts to back up any increases.”

NEWS FROM THE REGIONS? Please forward to

Rail Freight A renewed interest in looking at rail freight was the catalyst in organising a discussion to see what and where were the future possibilities. Organised by the Irish Exporters Association and Chaired by Fleet Columnist Howard Knott, the gathering heard from many experts including Tony Berkeley, who is Chairman of the Rail Freight Users Group in the UK. Currently about 45 freight trains per week run in Ireland serving 5 routes. While there were many positive contributions from those present, there was litt le enthusiasm from Irish Rail. One of the myths of Rail Freight is the length of the journey. Tony Berkeley from the UK said that there were some journeys in the UK as short as 10 miles, but he said, “There is no truck movement at either end which is critical.” A spokesperson from the IRHA said it regarded road and rail as two different modes of transport. However, he pointed out that the Association could not allow road to be taxed out of business and rail taxed into business.

Ask the company to take some particular action Instigate legal action Undertake a further inspection

More details on the NERA website:

Penalty Points After nine years almost one million Penalty Points have been issued. Currently almost 600,000 penalty points are active but almost 200,000 are unenforceable. A spokesperson for the Road Safety Authority confirmed that where a driver has no licence or a foreign licence they cannot penalise the driver. He continued by saying that a clear link now exists between unlicensed drivers, uninsured drivers and the penalty points issued. Figures show that 95% of drivers issued with penalty points for no insurance had no licence and 95% of the penalty points issued for Careless Driving had no licence.

The views and opinions expressed in this publication, save otherwise indicated, are not necessarily the views of the Council and Officers of the Irish Road Haulage Association. Knights of the Road is compiled by Fleet Transport Magazine on behalf of the IRHA. Items for the Newsletter should be sent by email to

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.



UK on the Spot Fines

Limerick Tunnel

Leo Howlin R.I..P

Since the start of April all trucks transiting through the UK are liable to On-The-Spot fi nes. In a tough stance by the UK Authorities one of its enforcement agencies VOSA will receive over £24 million over the next three years to help enforcement. Recent figures released from the UK seem to suggest that half of the offending trucks found to have defects were Irish.

On a recent visit to the construction site of the new Shannon Tunnel on the new Southern Cross Ring Road, Transport Minister Noel Dempsey T.D., confi rmed that the project was on time and within budget. Locally, it is believed that the project may finish ahead of time. When complete it is expected that over 30,000 vehicles per day will be taken out of Limerick City.

Leo Howlin lost his last batt le with cancer in January. On the cusp of his 50 th birthday Leo was not a man for throwing in the towel, yet was taken from us while he still had much more to give. He fought his illness with much courage and for a time it seemed he had won, however this was not to be.

A spokesperson for the IRHA said that while the Association was fully in favour of the enforcement authority doing its job, there was a feeling that VOSA could on occasion, be guilty of creating statistics. Although the new regulations are in place, it is too soon to gauge reaction from hauliers transiting through the UK.

10 kilometres of new motorway will feed the Tunnel from the existing road network. While no figures have been agreed yet, a spokesperson from appointed Operators Direct Route said the Toll charges are likely to be similar to the figures on the Fermoy Bypass.

Speedy Postmen

Cyclist Killed Two years ago a young female cyclist was killed after an accident with a skip truck. While turning left the truck and cyclist collided leading to a tragic accident. In a statement to the Court the P.S.U. Sergeant said there were some major defects on the truck, but he concluded the brakes on the bike were in poor condition. A spokesperson for the IRHA said that while there was no excuse for the defective truck, it was interesting that the condition of the bicycle was taken into account.

A change of soft ware is forcing postpersons in Northern Ireland to speed up from an average of 2 mph to 4 mph. A spokesperson for the Royal Mail Union claims that the image of the ‘Whistling Postman’ is under threat because of recent changes. Royal Mail is using a Canadian designed system to create the postpersons route, and according to the postmen and postwomen, it takes litt le account of the practical realities of a daily round. Some feel that the new system will reduce service rather than improve it. A spokesperson for Royal Mail said the system will improve working conditions by making delivery rounds more efficient and fair.

I fi rst met Leo in 1983. He was just a year older than me yet already was a veteran long distance driver in the true sense of the word. He was driving a Volvo F89 for John O Neill of Graiguenamanagh and was in and out to Algeria on a regular basis, where the market was thriving at the time. He knew his way around all the corners of Eastern Europe by then and could be relied on to give a straight route to anybody in need of good directions. Paperwork then was a nightmare, with multiple T Forms, Trailer Carnets, T.I.R Carnets, Health Certs, Green Books, and bilateral permits and with just nine members of the E.U. it was easy to reach the edge of the Community. Leo’s background in Insurance Sales was apparent for he had an easy way with people and he was a guy who listened twice as much as he talked. Veteran fruit traders like Bill O Neill had a great respect for his ability to get the job done and before the days of the mobile phone Leo could be relied to solve a small problem before it came a big one. In recent years he built up a fi ne business specializing in the Spanish market, an area where he had a natural affi nity. He paid great attention to doing the job right and was a great man to invest in the best equipment for the job at hand. He was also a great trader and could buy and sell with the best of them. He had also a great ability to think outside the box and did not limit his keen business brain just to the transport business. The presence of a large number of his old colleagues from the transport business was testament to the respect Leo enjoyed from them. There were lots of “old hands” there to say a fond farewell, and the offerings of a Wexford jersey, a model Scania and a C.D. summed up the simple tastes of the man we all loved down the years. To his wife Barbara and children Leonie, Bronagh, Eoin, and Orlaith his solid presence in their lives will never be replaced, we send our deepest sympathies to them on the loss of a great father and a great ambassador for his industry and his country. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.



Truck parking spaces can now be reserved quickly and easily all over Europe Search functions

Andreas Lubitz representing MOVE &


pending hours trying to find truck parking and dangerous parking manoeuvres on slip roads may soon be a thing of the past. All this, thanks to a recently launched Europe-wide information and reservation system for service stations and truckstops. It may well revolutionise route planning: Th is new Internet platform provides truck drivers and dispatchers with free information on over 2,500 private truck parking areas and service stations in 40 European countries. Truckstop operators can simply enrol their site for the reservation service. They then appear with an “R” on the Google map. Dispatchers and drivers can book hours or days in advance, online through the Internet or from on-board computers. Th is service will initially be free of charge. Later, the small reservation fee can either be borne by the truckstop or be paid by card. In the future it will also be possible to request information on presently available truck parking by text message or the Internet. “We have already implemented the majority of the important functions for truck drivers on the new platform,” explains Rudolf Anner from SETPOS. “We will continue to develop and improve the current service for the benefit of drivers, dispatchers and parking area operators.” The new TRUCKinform web platform was set up as part of the SETPOS EU project (www., which promotes the development and networking of secured truck parking areas in Europe. The project is being partially funded by the European Commission and is also being supported by numerous companies and organisations such as ADAC, Daimler FleetBoard, EuroShell and UTA. It is operated by a specialised international company, Move & Park. The platform is currently available in English, German, French and Russian.

The user-friendly search functions make it possible to fi nd parking areas and service stations in the vicinity of a particular location, along a route or by motorway numbers in a matter of seconds. Users – can select a parking area from a map or table and obtain PARK detailed information including the number of parking spaces available, availability of showers, whether certain fuel cards are accepted, as well as information about the nearest medical practice. Search results can also be fi ltered in accordance with specific criteria, such as whether a secured parking space is available, whether refrigerated trucks find plugs or trucks with dangerous goods are permitted. The service is free of charge for all users. Although it is not necessary to register, it has many benefits: it makes it possible to save search profi les and to customise searches to the user’s specific requirements. Furthermore, only registered users can access the reservation function. Reservation made easy The number of truck parking areas where spaces can be reserved with the TRUCKform system is growing every day. Pre-booking eases search stress and saves detour cost. The procedure is simple and available to drivers and dispatchers, explains Jürgen Wehnert, COO of Move & Park: “After logging in, users look for a parking area that can be reserved along a route or at a certain location. They enter the time and date they plan to arrive and confi rm it – that’s it.” TRUCKinform immediately sends a confi rmation email and SMS with all the important information, such as the name and location of the parking area, the reservation number or the name of the person whom the driver must contact upon arrival. Depending on the availability, the registered user can reserve a space days in advance or shortly before arriving. Reservation fees vary according to the operator and can be charged either at the location or conveniently via the TRUCKinform system.

Parking Space Availability In the future, TRUCKinform will provide other services in addition to the basic searches and information about reservation availability. Jürgen Wehnert: “Especially dynamic information about the actual availability of parking spaces at truckstops along a route will be very beneficial, as drivers can plan their breaks better. And this, dozens of miles ahead.” The technology for this function is now in place but the majority of the dynamic data is not yet provided by the truckstops and/or motorway operators. By doing this the operators will additionally show up for all searching routing maps. Better use of existing capacities will result. The space availability data can be entered automatically or manually by operators. In the future requesting this information will be possible using the Internet, by text message or through a call centre. Beneficial to parking area operators In addition, parking area operators will also profit from this Europe-wide directory and reservation system. They too can register free of charge on the Internet platform, complete the profile of their service station or parking area. New parking areas can be added swiftly. The more exact and complete the information they provide is, the more attractive the parking area will be for drivers. Planned further development The benefits will only increase for everyone concerned, thanks to such features as an independent rating system that provides drivers with a quick overview of the quality and scale of the available services. The developers have also already begun working on connecting and networking the TRUCKinform system with local signs. “Th is is still a thing of the future,” says Rudolf Anner from SETPOS, “but TRUCKinform is already the fi rst and only independent, Europe-wide information system that provides drivers and dispatchers with access to over 2,500 truck parking areas in 40 European countries – and this is steadily increasing in quality and quantity.”

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.




INTERNATIONAL NEWS ... INTERNATIONAL NEWS Truckstop Security Conference - Brussels


he European Commission and European Parliament are holding a joint Conference on vehicle security at truck parks. The one-day Conference in Brussels on 29 April will address security, capacity, and information concerns and will also present EC-sponsored initiatives and national action programmes.

She said the shortage of genuinely secure overnight stops across the EU was an ongoing scandal, and poor security actually made the problem worse. “The IRU’s five-year survey of att acks on drivers found that 51% of robberies and theft s from vehicles had actually occurred in truckstops and service stations.”

“Truck drivers are worse protected than workers in any other industry in the EU, so it’s good to see that the European Commission and the European Parliament are moving the issue up the agenda,” stresses Debbie Jones, General Manager, Viper Guard, the Commercial Vehicle Safety & Security Specialists.

“Drivers in turn know that gathering at insecure truckstops actually makes them more vulnerable to robbery and theft . So they look for isolated places to park up for the night such as industrial estates and rural lay-bys where they hope the criminals won’t find them, which creates nuisance and/or inconvenience for local people and gives the whole industry a bad name.”

Completion of major England and Wales gateway welcomed


he completion of a £61m scheme to improve a notoriously congested road linking England to north Wales has been warmly welcomed by the Road Transport Industry. Freight Transport Association (FTA) members identified traffic congestion at the A550, A540 and M56 junctions as a barrier to reliable freight journey times back in 2003. “FTA members operating in north Wales flagged up this particular ‘pinch point’ as a problem and we are delighted for them that connectivity to Wales has now been significantly improved with the A5117 link", said Ian Gallagher, FTA’s Regional Policy Manager for Wales.

However, there is still some concern from industry that despite the investment in this stretch of the road network there is still little provision for parking. “We would like to see much greater importance placed on truck stops along this key trade route – the decision to refuse safe and secure areas for HGVs to park is myopic as without safe and secure truck stops not only are drivers put at risk from theft and hijack, they are also denied the opportunity to get a decent rest period which carries road safety implications,” concluded Ian.

“Congestion along this stretch of road was certainly a cause for concern among hauliers as the resulting traffic jams represented a great deal of wasted fuel and were a barrier to reliable journey times,” he added. As well as fuel cost savings, commercial vehicle operators and their end-users will also benefit from shorter and more reliable delivery times.

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.



Operators Desk - Sean Murtagh - IRHA Annual Conference 2009


question I am oft en asked aft er the the UK), spending its time creating statistics tall orders with some prett y tight deadlines. I do annual IRHA Conference is “Had you to make the industry look bad. Although not not think that any person attending the AGM a successful Conference?” Most of the present at the IRHA Conference this year, RSA expect the President and his Management Team people that pose that type of question, expect CEO Noel Brett has consistently claimed that the to deliver results on the timescale imposed, you to answer in the positive. Often that is the Authority wants to improve compliance using a but they do expect progress. Newly installed simplest way to deal with it, regardless. Like most ‘carrot’ rather than a ‘stick’. President Vincent Caulfield is in for a second Conferences it was tinged with anger, frustration term at the helm fortunate to be surrounded and a little hope. However, this year by an experienced team. All of them we had a new ingredient – survival. have served at least two terms on the Every haulier at the Conference Management Team. was hoping to survive until next year’s meeting. At the A.G.M. Finally, two members of last year’s the motions from the Branches Management Team have stepped were discussed. Unfortunately, down. Paul Tuohy from Dublin and many of these have been debated Brendan Ryan from Limerick. Paul in this forum previously and was previously the IRHA Treasurer, although some progress has been and both he and Brendan have given made litt le improvement can be sterling service to the IRHA. While not seen yet. Chairing the A.G.M. involved at National level they will still outgoing President Jimmy Quinn be involved in their local Branches. 17th Hole (lake & trees), Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath. told delegates that many of the issues were nearly across the line. Bewildered On the Sunday morning of the Conference, Conference is a good time to benchmark the delegates and Council Members questioned the Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey T.D., progress made by the IRHA. Some years excellent Management as to where each project was. As a addressed the delegates. A pleasant man, always progress is plain to be seen and unfortunately on response it was proposed that we would put time easy and interesting to listen to, he was obviously some occasions it is hard to measure any major limits on the concluding of each project. It could very pleased to welcome the Conference to his positiveness. One thing is for sure, it is not for be argued that the outgoing President has created home town of Trim. However when he went on the want of effort by the President and his Team a difficult agenda for the incoming President and in his speech he told those present that he was to get it right during this tenure. his Management Team. One way or another the happy to announce a relaxation of the Operators sentiment coming from the Meeting was strong. C.P.C. regulations. Out of politeness there was One delegate suggested that it was time we said no reaction as the Minister was blissfully unaware ‘No’ on some issue soon. that his comments were infuriating his audience. Allowing a C.P.C. holder to manage and represent So what are the big issues we are facing? Use of four different companies and up to fi ft y trucks is tractors and trailers as haulage vehicles, is one, a terrible dilution of our professionalism. Very as is, the need to introduce a simplified system little opportunity has been afforded to the IRHA One of the consequences of the recent for obtaining permits for abnormal loads. The to discuss this proposal. Most people will see this economic slowdown is a reduction in the restrictions placed on trucks on motorways is as a backward step at a time when a Directive is volume of traffic on the roads. Figures issued another. Some of these items have been on the being enacted to require drivers to have a C.P.C. by Dublin City Council indicate that there agenda for ten years or more and it is questionable if You could be critical and suggest that this is the are 3% less vehicles on the road this year there is any political will to bring them to fruition. Government’s way of tackling illegal haulage. In than last year. Over four years in existence now, the Road Safety a perfect world, a transport manager would take Authority was presented to the Transport industry the hit for any illegal operation one of his client In Dublin City Centre alone one million as the solution to all its problems. You could companies became involved in. Personally I less vehicles passed through the City area. argue that the RSA was a type of Trojan horse. have seen no evidence of this happening before. Brendan O’Brien of Dublin City Council said Most people would argue that enforcement in I think that unless proven otherwise to me the that part of this reduction is because there are the sector has gone to farcical levels, without any Government have seized on an opportunity to less commercial vehicles in the Capital. In prosecution. People had varied opinions about legalise illegal haulage. At a time when we are fact, according to Mr. O’Brien commercial the RSA. Some very positive experiences were trying to raise standards in our industry this move vehicle traffic has been reduced by 20% relayed, as were some very nasty experiences. will only lower them. Most people are nervous of the RSA’s potential. One delegate expressed a fear that the RSA would The 2009 IRHA AGM has given the new become another VOSA (the regulatory body in Management Team a strong mandate and some

Traffic Volumes Down

MIKE MURPHY INSURANCE GROUP The Insurance Centre, 7 Sandyford Business Centre, Sandyford, Dublin 18. We are 35 years working for the Haulage Industry. Just call us for a quote! Tel: 01 2932350 Fax: 01 2932360 Email: Web: M.Murphy Insurance Services Ltd. is a member of IBA and regulated by the Financial Regulator.




FUEL PRICE UPDATE IN ASSOCIATION WITH CASTROL The price of fuel is an important element in costing an international trip. Drivers are invited to check this report which is compiled fortnightly from information supplied by IRU national associations and by ‘TCS Touirsme et Documents’, Geneva. Prices you can see here are an average for each country (for week 13). Country


95 Lead Free

98 Lead Free




95 Lead Free

98 Lead Free


















































































Czech Republic


























































































































Galway looks to Volvo Ocean Race and beyond


s “Green Dragon” and four other Volvo 70’s batt le their way into the Southern Ocean, the Port of Galway has unveiled a €2 billion development plan for the Docks and the surrounding area. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet will, by then be restored to seven boats with “Delta Lloyd” and “Telefonica Black” rejoining the race at Rio. All entrants (with the exception of Team Russia) compete for the inshore races there and then take the leg northbound to Boston. Th is will kick off the new development in Galway as the convoy arrives from the U.S in the third week of May. Clearing of the area around the existing Port has already commenced so as to facilitate the Volvo fleet, its back-up and public events including the recently announced Boat Show and Fish Expo. As the re-development project proceeds over the next four years, over 60 hectares will be reclaimed from the Bay to accommodate new

berths for both Cargo Vessels and Cruise Liners and a much needed Marina for Leisure Craft . The plan also includes the provision of a rail spur onto the Quay to facilitate economical and environmentally sound distribution of product transiting the Port. In a statement, Port Chief Executive, Eamon Bradshaw, has pointed out that some 99% of the new Port will be built on reclaimed land and that’s vital to Galway’s future. Planning approval will be sought under the “Vital Strategic Infrastructure” which goes direct to An Bord Pleanala for decision. Photo: Guo Chaun

The QE2

An Bord Pleanála


he QE2 lies at anchor off Dubai awaiting a decision from her new owners as to whether or not to proceed with her planned conversion into an integral part of a luxury resort there. The plan had been to sail the cruise ship on to Singapore where she would be converted including taking out the engines and replacing her funnel with a replica which housed a number of penthouse suites.


n Bord Pleanála raises concerns about f lood risks in Dublin Port’s plan. In September 2008, Dublin Port lodged its formal planning application for the infi ll of 25 hectares extending the Port eastwards and facilitating the development of new deepwater berths required to facilitate larger vessels.

The current economic downturn has hit the Middle East resort hard and it is now rumoured that the QE2's next voyage may be to the scrap yard.

An Bord Pleanála has now requested further information from the Port concerning any possible flood risk within the Port area and along the Clontarf seafront.

DSV and Clipper Groups


SV and Clipper Groups become major shareholders in DFDS Shipping Group. DSV, the Danish Freight Forwarding and Transport group has purchased a 25% stake in the DFDS Group. DSV, which was up to 2000, a part of the DFDS Group, but was then sold to haulage company Dan transport which, has, since then grown into a major force in European freight transport through the acquisition of businesses including, ABX Logistics, Frans Maas and Irish sea operator, Roadferry.

It will control 25% of DFDS and it is already the line’s largest freight customer. Copenhagen based Clipper Group’s activities include the operation of the Seatruck Ferry business is a long-time shareholder in DFDS and has now increased its stake to 15% of the company. The DFDS operations to and from Irish ports which are entirely Lo-Lo container based are not expected to be affected by any changes arising from these deals.

Containerships group acquires Turkish Shipping Line


elsinki based but Eimskip owned Containerships, which has, in recent months rapidly expanded its container shipping footprint through its traditional Northern Europe sphere of operations, has bought Turkish


Line, Contaz Maritime Transport. Contaz, with offices in Istanbul and the Mediterranean Port of Izmir, operates a network of Container shipping services, linking these Ports with a range of North African Ports from Bengazi in the east to Tripoli

in the west. The new acquisition forms part of a strategic development of the Containers Group into the “new” Europe and Central Asia.


Belfast welcomes Tall Ships, Ferries and Paper Carriers


he Port of Belfast will be the final call for the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009 with the fi rst of the largest ever fleet assembled for this six Port, double Atlantic crossing event, that’s expected to cross the fi nish line on 13 August. As plans for that event are being developed, the iconic Belfast Shipyard of Harland and Wolff has been busy through the Winter months carrying out the annual refits of each vessel of the Irish Ferries’ fleet, the Stena Line Irish Sea fleet and many others. Contractors, John Sisk

& Sons is currently re-developing the Port’s paper and Forest Products facility at Pollock Dock increasing the Port’s capacity to handle and store such products by over 70%. “Th is development will consolidate the Port’s position as the island’s leading bulk paper importer”, said a Port spokesperson.

Maersk Group reports 20% fall-off


aersk Group reports 20% fall-off in volume of containers shipped. Maersk, the Worlds No. 1 container carrier reports container volumes shipped in January 2009 of 20% less than the 2008 figure. The diversified group which also includes Container Terminals, Oil and Gas exploration and supply, shipyards and a 20% stake in Danske Bank, parent of National Irish Bank, reported good fi nancial figures for 2008 but expects business to be tough in all sectors

in 2009. The Group is carrying out significant cost cutt ing programmes while planning to consolidate its UK office functions with a new base in Liverpool and develop a major container terminal in Bristol. Maersk’s Irish Sea operation, the Norfolk Lines’ ferry services ex Dublin and Belfast will benefit from the redeployment of Line owned tonnage from the North Sea over the coming months.

Irish Ferries puts IF into New Marketing Campaign


headlines as 'What IF the journey was to be enjoyed, not endured?' tounderline what they see as the contrast between ferry and air travel.

Aimed at a new, younger generation, many of whom have never before traveled by car ferry, the campaign aims to position Irish Ferries as the carrier that is putt ing pleasure back into travel.

Driving force behind this new approach was the EUR500million that Irish Ferries has invested in acquiring new vessels and in upgrading services generally to deliver what they regard as ‘a standard of service vastly superior to anything that those who travel by air have come to expect’.

rish Ferries have taken their initials IF and placed them up front in a new advertising campaign aimed at promoting the attractiveness of travel by ferry.

Using the company's initials IF as the creative theme, it features such

Advertising, it will appear in press, television and online over the coming months.

Devised by Dublin advertising agency Javelin

Seascapes pleas for proper recognition of Maritime Ireland


TE Marine Correspondent, Tom Mac Sweeney, the man behind the hugely successful “Seascapes” programme, made a strong plea during the course of his recent Jim Crowley Lecture to the members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, (CILT), for proper official recognition of maritime matters in Ireland. He pointed out that the Maritime sector contributes about €2 billion annually to the Irish economy with over 22,500 working in maritime related businesses. Tom expressed particular disappointment that the recent re-distribution of Government Department responsibilities saw the functions of the Department of the Marine split between a number of Departments, thus losing any sense of focus on Irish waters which comprise over 25 times the area of the country’s landmass. He felt that, at least, with the majority of Maritime related functions being transferred to Text: Howard Knott -

the Department of Transport, that Department’s name should be amended to recognise these responsibilities. Tom contrasted the lack of official interest on the island of Ireland with that in Scotland where the “Marine Scotland” is

being set up by the Scott ish Executive to exploit the sector. Tom Mac Sweeney spoke about the Irish contribution to Maritime developments the world over but also current developments in Cork, the success of the recently established Maritime College, now developing a leading position in maritime training at all levels for both Merchant and Naval sectors and the planned Maritime Campus in the City. The Cork native fi nished his talk with a plea for the rational interpretation of maritime related EU policies and requirements so as to ensure that the destruction of the fishing industry in its many aspects and the related fi sh food industry are not destroyed on the altar of being “good Europeans”.



THINGS WE DON’T NOTICE Looking at things from different periods of our past could, probably begin with the answer to the cliched question “Are we there yet?” Milestones, so important in the days of horsedrawn or early motor transport reassured people that they were on the right road and gett ing nearer to their destination. Often victims to road widening schemes, too many milestones have been brought to Local Authority depots and then lost. Surviving examples are now treasured relics from bygone times and in my home area most of the stones on the roads to Malahide and Howth are fortuitously still in place - and protected. Another type of stone found, but in diminishing numbers, on many roads represents a darker and more tragic aspect of transport. Nowadays, the scenes of fatal road traffic accidents are often marked with bunches of flowers by friends of the deceased, but these inevitably fade and are gone in a relatively short period. Years ago, when there were far fewer vehicles on our roads and religious practice was more fervent and widespread, memorial stones were erected at the scenes of fatal accidents and many of these are still standing. Gardiner Street

service its dual responsibilities. In 1984, the two services were separated and vested in An Post and Telecom Eireann, both of which inherited great numbers of vehicles which they painted into new liveries. The Transport Museum is fortunate in having vehicles representing various periods from both services.

Gas Lamp Column, pre-1914


tems or equipment directly related to their employment are what most people notice as they travel around. The vast majority of these individual artefacts are usually of litt le consequence to anybody unfamiliar with the function they serve, but collectively they tell comprehensive stories of infrastructural and social development. Unfortunately very few such items have found their way into museum collections and for that people like this writer must take the blame through our negligence in not ensuring the retention of such artefacts.

Milepost, Artane, Dublin 36

An imposing nu mber of those things that we don’t notice as we travel Ireland’s highways and byways either have d irect transport connections or are part of public services employing f leets of vehicles, some of which a re h i g h l y specialised.



In this era of mobile phones, how telecommunication was conducted thirty or more years ago must look like Stone Age technology. Apart from telephones which either had dials or a handle to connect with the local exchange, the most obvious manifestations of this service were telegraph poles. Although impressive, the long trunk lines along major roads and railway lines had limited numbers of circuits and long delays could be experienced in booking trunk calls. Local subscribers (customers) were served by lines of smaller poles radiating out from exchanges and which had two wires for each telephone, the number of wires on the poles decreasing as the line went on. In later years, a single wire per phone reduced costs – and the great burden of equipment carried by the poles. From the establishment of the Irish Free State, both the postal and telephone services were operated by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (P&T). While not noted for progressive policies, the Department maintained two well-run and maintained transport fleets to

Eircom recently announced the removal of many telephone kiosks around the country. These have been made redundant by the almost universal adoption of mobile telephones. Starting with kiosks based on contemporary British designs of the 1920s, - and one of which is preserved on Dawson Street in Dublin – the standard Irish kiosk soon became a familiar sight throughout the country. Although the disappearance of so many kiosks is regrett able, the difference between searching for one on a cold dark night by a stranded driver and making a call for rescue on a mobile shows just how far we have progressed. Found only in our major cities in the 1950s, traffic lights now control our journeys in nearly every town and village throughout the country. The fi rst traffic lights, based on contemporary railway signalling practice, were installed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster in 1868. The modern traffic light was developed in the United States in 1912 and installations grew apace in the following years. Ireland’s fi rst traffic lights were probably erected in Belfast in 1927, and Dublin’s fi rst, at three locations, came into operation in 1938. All the early sets were electro-mechanical, a far cry from today’s


1975 Bedford TK Gang Truck 575 TZH in later P&T livery 1984 ESB Ford Cargo Hoist TZG 194

computer operated lights, many of which are also set to change in sequence. The junction of Gardiner Street and Talbot Street was where one of the 1938 traffic light sets was installed in Dublin. In the Spring of 1980, learning that replacement of this set was imminent, I took a photograph that included two other roadside items. Two telephone kiosks appear in the picture and the mounting of one of the traffic light clusters draws attention to yet another type of equipment. The pole is a former tramway traction pole that once supported the overhead wiring for the trams which last ran past this junction in 1941. Th is particular pole was cast by the famous but long gone North Wall foundry of Ross and Walpole, which produced a wide variety of items, including very elegant lamp standards. Many Ross and Walpole former tramway poles are still in use as public lighting columns. Lamps of every description surround us, enhancing our lives and making nocturnal journeys safe and generally secure. Gas lamps have virtually disappeared from our Streets, a notable exception being the Phoenix Park in Dublin where lines of historic gas lamps still cast their subdued glow. Automatically lighting and

quenching at dusk and dawn, they recall the days of the lamp lighter – nostalgic, perhaps, but do not be misled by talk of the good old days or the rare old times. For most people, life was hard and often cruel: in transport, just conjure up visions of lorry drivers in cabs with half doors and no side windows; motormen on open-fronted trams or fi remen on open appliances without windscreens because the chief feared such a luxury would make the men soft . Few initiatives have encouraged more improvements in towns and villages around the country than the Tidy Towns Competition. Among the lesser emphasised developments in various towns is the erection of att ractive public lighting columns that have replaced many of the appalling and unplanned electricity wirescapes that disfigure otherwise pleasant streets - and one can but hope that good taste will eventually win out.

1969 Bedford HA Van in Howth. Note Gaelic lettering Attractive Lamp Standard, Waterford

The foregoing is but a selection of things we don’t notice – water, drainage and the roads themselves have not featured in this contribution. Several processes apply to every one of them - installation, maintenance and replacement. All of this requires highly skilled people, equipment and transport – vehicles of every type, of which a selection of historic examples resides in the Transport Museum collection. Recently, these have been increasingly augmented by a variety of artefacts and equipment.

The National TransportMuseum, Heritage Depot,Howth Demense, Howth. Opening Times: Obsolete Pole, mixed fittings and wiring Text & Photos: Michael Corcoran

Sept - May: Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, 2.00 - 5.00pm. 26 Dec - 1 Jan: 2.00 - 5.00pm daily. June - August: Monday - Saturday, 10.00am - 5.00pm. FLEETTRANSPORT | APRIL 2009 37




t is quite clear that the EC determination to harmonise the laws controlling the use, and movement, of commercial and passenger carrying vehicles, is providing a real initiative to those that draft legislation in the EC. The latest Directive that has been brought into Irish law is SI No 51 of 2009. The typically lengthy title is ‘European Communities (Road Transport) (Working Conditions and Road Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2009, and amends SI No 62 of 2008. This Regulation introduces a form that is to be used by enforcement officers when carrying out a roadside check. Interestingly this form is intended to be identical to that used by the UK enforcement staff . From an operator’s point of view the form has the effect of highlighting those aspects of vehicle operation that are going to be checked. The document starts by listing the five alternative enforcement actions that may be taken. In order they are: • Further Enquiries • Report/Fine • Warning • Prohibition • No infringement It may seem unfortunate that ‘No infringement’ comes last in the list of alternative actions. It may be that an enforcement officer using the form may feel under some pressure to fi nd a fault. The next part of the form provides for the identification of the vehicle, its driver, and, of course, the operator. It will be noted that the maximum total weight is also to be recorded and, in the event that this recorded weight exceeds a permitted maximum, it seems likely that the matter will go to Court. The enforcement officer is then required to ascertain whether the vehicle is on National or International work, carrying goods or passengers, using a digital or analogue tachograph, and whether it is on an ‘EU’ ‘AETR’, or other type of journey. The remainder of the form provides the enforcement officer with the opportunity to provide details of the check that was carried out. In the fi rst instance the period over

which the records are checked is recorded. This information is relevant in relation to the tachograph records whether or not the vehicle is fitted with digital or analogue equipment. There is then space in which any offence may be detailed, including the duration of any prohibition that may be applied. Offences are identified by an EU Code, and are listed, with the relevant code on the back of the form. The EU Codes are lengthy. By way of example AETR.8.1 is the code for the offence of failing to take sufficient daily rest, and 3821.12-a is the code failing to have a secure tachograph seal. Any driver who is checked will be given a copy of the form so that he/ she can see what observations have been made, and, this should give the operator the opportunity to consider whether any prosecution might be successfully defended. A copy of the form can be obtained from the Department of Transport by searching in the ‘legislation’ section for SI No 51 of 2009 and it would certainly make sense for an operator to get a copy before one of the vehicles is checked rather than looking at a form that has been issued recording one or more offences. It is apparent to any observer that harmonisation of enforcement has been recognised as an issue of fundamental importance in the context of the transport industry. Recently, in the UK, a driver was fi ned by the Police for using a mobile phone whilst driving. Significantly that driver has now been called to a hearing before the Traffic Commissioner to show cause why his HGV licence should not be removed. (Currently the tariff would appear to be 14 days suspension.) It is obvious that, by standardising the means of recording checks and the detail of those checks, the exchange of information between the Member States will be easier and this, once again, will add to the armoury of the Enforcement Authorities.

Text: Jonathan Lawton –




he Government’s stated objective to have 10% of all vehicles on our roads running on electric power by 2020 is focusing minds on the practicalities of achieving such a target. It is certainly an ambitious goal, requiring an infrastructure that can support the running of an estimated 250,000 electric passenger vehicles. A recent well-attended conference in the Radisson SAS St. Helens in Dublin jointly organised by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and the Electric Supply Board (ESB) looked at the issues, policies and development requirements needed to meet the Government’s objective. Entitled ‘Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Transport’, among the contributors were speakers from the ESB and SEI, the International Energy Agency, and the Society for Irish Motoring Industry (SIMI), as well as experts from Westminster and Berlin, two locations that have taken major steps in promoting the use of electric vehicles. Without doubt one of the major challenges is to put in place an infrastructure to recharge electric vehicles away from their home base – a network of electric filling stations effectively. Conor Garrigan of ESB Networks envisaged a structure where charging points would be available domestically, on-street and in car parks, using a mixture of single and three phase charging. While there would be some technical implications and challenges to overcome, there were no significant obstacles to putting such a structure in place, he believed. Westminster City Council in London is an example of a Local Authority that has been actively supporting the use of electric vehicles. The Council has installed a network of 12 onstreet, and a further 40 off-street charging points. Usage is via a membership fee, with currently 200 on-street and 230 off-street members. Among the considerations in developing such a network according to Christel Quellennec-Reid from Westminster City Council, were finding suitable locations that complied with local street design guidelines and were accessible for all users and electric vehicles, and putting the necessary administrative legislation in place. From the motor industry perspective, Alan Nolan, Director General of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry noted that in the past decade 50 new CO2 technologies had been introduced reducing emissions by over 13%. A major part of CO2 emissions are now caused by older more polluting vehicles as well as increased mileage and a lack of traffic management. He called on the Government to involve the motor industry and the consumer more in addressing the issues with tackling CO2 rather than adopt a go-it-alone approach. 40 FLEETTRANSPORT | APRIL 2009

Highlighting the fact that there are a number of paths towards the low emissions car of the future, selected manufacturers showcased the current and forthcoming developments in alternative fuel technology. Toyota’s Prius petrol-electic Hybrid is a familiar sight on our roads having sold in excess of 2,500 units at the end of 2008, but the company is looking at fuel cell hybrid vehicles and plug in hybrids for its next generation of eco-friendly products. Conventional vehicles such as the iQ which use downsizing and weight reduction to achieve lower CO2 emissions also have a place to play in the future according to Brendan Sears of Toyota Ireland. Mitsubishi showcased the iMiEV, the company’s first production electric car with manufacturing expected to start in Japan later this year. With a range of up to 160 km, it can fully charge in about seven hours from a household charger, or to about 80% capacity in 30 minutes using a quick charger. Also set to make it into production in 2010 will be the Chevrolet Volt / Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid. It promises a range of approximately 60 km on its electric motor before a small engine acts as an on-board Pictured alongside the Modec electric commercial at the SEI Conference are : generator to give a total range of Padraig McManus, Chief Executive, ESB, Paul O’Dowd, National Sales Manager, Modec Limited, UK, Lochlann Quinn, Chairman, ESB, Conal McCourt, Modec nearly 500 km. Ireland (OHM Group), Declan McCourt, Chief Executive, OHM Group and Simon Teevan, Modec Ireland (OHM Group)

Text: Cathal Doyle–


Is there a future for Rail freight in Ireland? From where I’m sitting Howard Knott


his was the question that the IEA (Irish Exporters Association), working through the Trade Facilitation Ireland Forum, sought to address at a ‘round table’ meeting held at the Forfas premises in Dublin on February 20th. I had the pleasure of chairing the discussion in which thirty people participated. There were additional submissions from other interested parties. The Group included a number of major Exporters, Freight Forwarding Agents, Environmentalists, Development Agencies, Terminal and Port Operators as well as the Department of Transport and Irish Rail. Lord Tony Berkeley, Chairman of the European Rail Freight Association brought the experience of the somewhat patchy re-development of rail freight throughout Europe to the table. All contributions to the meeting were entirely positive and rail freight was shown as having much to offer in helping firms work through the recessionary times. It was also seen as a way of reducing carbon footprint of manufacturing and exporting as well as meeting the challenges of full compliance with Drivers’ working hours and other Health and Safety regulations. The substantial investment over recent years by Irish Rail in its track and signalling infrastructure leaves the rail network in a far better position to be able to handle rail freight volumes, particularly at ‘off-peak’ times. The semi-State now also has good traction, drivers and other staff capability and an ability to increase the available wagon fleet. European Legislation requires that each Member State puts in place an Act that facilitates the split up of the National Rail system into a Network component and an Operating Company and this has not yet been done in Ireland. Basically, the plan would give a similar situation to that now applying in the Electricity Supply business here. Moving quickly to bring the Irish situation into line was seen by the meeting as a high priority. It would facilitate the provision of transparent costings and allow Rail Freight operators from elsewhere to bring their expertise into the Irish marketplace. Most of the traffic flows identified have a Port at one or other end. For the movement of fuel products, bulk goods, ore, timber etc. the advantages of rail freight are mainly environmental, giving reduced emissions, road damage etc. Rail movement of Text: Howard Knott –

Containerised c a rgo a l so offers these advantages, but also had others:For the Exporter / I mpor ter located away from the East Coast Ports, a facility bringing containers to a local railhead means that one can take in cargo and load cargo at short notice and when it best suits. Consequently, the exporter brings down the carbon footprint. For the haulier, the business model shifts to doing local runs thereby avoiding long trunks and congested city roads. This improves productivity and facilitates compliance. Also avoided is the ever increasing tolls and other road user charges. For Regional Development Agencies such operations bring the exporter effectively nearer to the Port and to their marketplace.

For the environment, Rail Freight is claimed to be at least five times more carbon efficient than Road Transport.

For the Rail Network operator and for the Rail Freight service providers on that Network, all of the above factors and interests now being in play gives the opportunity to make greater use of the Network and spread the costs of its continued development. Since the meeting a number of the participants have been engaged in discussions on getting specific traffic flows moving on the Irish Network, while some have also begun to re-visit projects that had been put to one side based on the belief that Rail Freight was not an available option in Ireland. As yet, we have put into place an informal group to take these matters further and, through Lord Tony Berkeley, the UK based Rail Freight Group (RFG) has engaged with us. I have been asked to speak at that Group’s Annual Conference which takes place in June about the Irish marketplace and what we are now doing. Th is event will also be an opportunity to learn more about what is happening elsewhere and distil what is useful for Ireland. We are putting into place a dossier on possible traffics that a re-invigorated Irish Rail Freight sector could develop. If you have any ideas on this one, please do let me know.

For the Ports, active rail connections effectively increase their hinterland and their ability to compete for traffic through their Port. For Port Terminal Operators Rail Freight facilitates, the quick movement of substantial container volumes on and off the Terminal in a cost-effective and timely way. This can be done at ‘off-peak’ hours, thus, smoothing the flow of traffic through the Terminal. For the Shipping Lines and Freight Forwarders, the chartering of trains a nd re-ma rket i ng the space on those trains opens up a new business flow and gives them a greater degree of certainty in costs and service provision. It also gives them the potential to re-position containers between Ports and/or Regional Depots at a reduced cost.



Euro NCAP sets higher benchmarks for car manufacturers to aspire to n 1997, the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) was established as a totally independent operation to provide the safety performance of new cars to concerned consumers. It fi rst set out to provide car buyers with a realistic and independent assessment of practically every car in the market. Now Euro NCAP’s scoring system is the industry rating and five Euro NCAP stars has become the target of each and every manufacturer. But, now that target is moving and Euro NCAP is upping the ante for car makers to include new, higher levels of safety and a new ratings regime.


From now on, the overall rating will be based on a car’s performance in each of the four main areas with the scores being rated in respect of each other. Euro NCAP also realises that it will take a certain period of time for car makers to rise to the standards required so it will use the next three years as a period to ramp up the results to where it wants all cars to be in terms of the four areas. Over that period of time, stricter requirements will be brought forward increasing the emphasis on all-round safety performance and demanding higher levels of achievement in each area.

As a totally independent and non-profit making organisation, the mission is to ensure that car manufacturers make the safest possible range of vehicles. While Euro NCAP has grown to become the standard in Europe to which all manufacturers now aspire, that was not the case at the beginning. In 1997, car makers said: “The assessment criteria are so severe, no car will ever be able to achieve four stars for Adult Occupant Protection”.

Euro NCAP is well aware that in times of economic crisis priorities are made but wants to make sure that safety remains a top priority. It believes that by not prioritising safety is false economy and that manufacturers who remain committed to safety will be justly awarded with a good overall rating.

However if you set the standards high the industry will follow. That year the Volvo S40 did reach four stars and three years later the fi rst five-star car went on sale. Th at was the Renault Laguna. Euro NCAP has since been instrumental in driving up the standards of safety in the European car fleet and across the World. Up to now, Euro NCAP made three separate ratings for each vehicle tested. Five stars were offered for Adult Occupancy, five stars for Child Occupancy and four stars for Pedestrian Protection. From 1997 to 2009, car manufacturers have adapted to the test and most have become adept at producing cars that meet the Adult Occupancy criteria. They have been a litt le slower in reaching the other two.

Child Occupant Protection Euro NCAP has carried out Child Occupant Protection tests from the very fi rst trials. Th is test is used to ensure that manufacturers take responsibility for children travelling in their vehicles. As part of this test Euro NCAP uses 18 month and 3 year old size dummies in both frontal and side impacts. As well as studying the results from these crashes, Euro NCAP verifies the clarity of instructions and seat installation in a car to ensure that a child seat can be fitted safely and securely. Th is has led to the common fitt ing of ISOFIX child seat fi xtures in most new cars today. A maximum of 49 points can be awarded in this rating area. There is one piece of overriding advice. Car owners are asked to double check their child’s seat. Many users fail to attach their child restraints securely to their car. Improper fitt ing of child seats will compromise the safety of a child and will compromise their protection in the event of an accident.

Dr. Michiel van Ratingen

From 2009, Euro NCAP is upgrading the testing regime and upping the ante for car manufacturers, especially in the areas of Child Occupancy and Pedestrian Protection. It is also adding another area of assessment called Safety Assist. Under the new regime, vehicles will now be marked on a single overall score from one to five stars. The new assessment incorporates all the previous aspects with some additional tests and with tougher assessments in certain areas. As Dr. Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP points out; “It is imperative that Euro NCAP continues to set higher benchmarks for car makers to aspire to. We intend to reward those manufacturers that make safety their ultimate goal.” FLEETTRANSPORT | APRIL2009

From 2009, a maximum of 36 points will be possible for Adult Occupant Protection. Sixteen points will be awarded from the frontal impact test with the side and pole impact tests now carrying eight points each. Th is new rating has seen the introduction of the Rear Impact or Whiplash Test, where a maximum of four points are possible. The score is also modified to extend the assessment to cover people of different sizes and a variety of seating positions.

Pedestrian Protection

New Testing Regime


Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General comments, “We acknowledge that this new rating scheme is more challenging in some areas, but it does offer lead time to manufacturers in others. We call this ‘smart pressure’. We need to raise the

Adult Occupant Protection

bar, but consider the current environment and give carmakers the opportunity to implement the best safety features into their vehicles. These manufacturers have shown that they are meeting all of our early targets. We look forward to seeing where they go next.” Euro NCAP sees the introduction of the new scheme as a means to drive safety forward, maximising road casualty reduction in Europe. Statistics of some of the dominant causes of serious and fatal injuries have been used to base its tests. How rigorous these tests are will reflect on the following statistics. The most important of the new assessments is the introduction of a Rear Impact test which will determine the safety elements in a car that prevent or reduce the risk of whiplash injuries.

Here is one area that Euro NCAP believes more effort by manufacturers is needed. It is also of the opinion that manufacturers can help save the lives of many pedestrians every year. The introduction of the new overall rating scheme aims to encourage improvements in vehicle performance in this assessment area. Results in this area are obtained through component tests simulating leg, upper leg and head impacts. A maximum of 36 points are available in this assessment trial.

Safety Assist This is the new area of assessment. The introduction of Safety Assist is designed to allow Euro NCAP to consider driver assistance systems and active safety technologies. It is now realised that these technologies play an increasing role in accident avoidance and injury mitigation. From now, Euro NCAP will reward car makers for the fitment of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), a maximum of three points. One point will be awarded for the presence of a driver-set speed

SAFETY limitation device, while it will continue to reward cars for an intelligent seat belt reminder, up to three points depending on how many seats are covered by the device. Of course there is litt le point in having the technology if it is not activated or if you are not wearing your seat belt!

Euro NCAP and Ireland Fleet Transport and its associate publication Fleet Car has been championing the work of the Euro NCAP for many years and has attended the annual presentation and various conferences hosted by the organisation. In that time and since its inception, no representatives from Ireland or any of our motoring organisations have ever contributed to, or even been present at Euro NCAP events. Euro NCAP is backed by seven European Governments, the European Commission, Insurance organisations and motoring and consumer organisations in most EU counties. ccou ount ntie ies. s. Eu o N Euro NCA CAP P was wa set se t up bbyy NCAP thee Tr th Tran ansp spor ortt Research Rese Re sear arch ch Transport Labo La bora rato tory ry,, for for the the UK Laboratory, Depa De part rtme ment nt ooff Department Tran Tr nsp spor ort. t. Transport.

Toyota iQ achieved 5 Stars under the New EuroNCAP Test Programme Subsequently,other Governments joined the programme (France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the Catalonian region of Spain). Many consumer groups in Europe are members through International Consumer Research and Testing. Motoring clubs are represented by membership of the FIA Foundation and by the individual membership of the German motor club ADAC and Thatcham on behalf of British insurers. The European Commission is an observing member of Euro NCAP’s board and provides their political support. In Ireland much progress has been made in the reduction of fatal and serious injuries on our roads. There are a number of good reasons why this has happened. We have come a long way in terms of better roads, reducing drink driving, the use of seat belts and with the improving standards of our vehicles. Euro NCAP has given a lot to Ireland in terms of raising safety levels in our cars. It is now time that we get involved as we have a lot to offer Euro NCAP too.

Euro NCAP statistics show that Ireland sits in second place behind Sweden as the country with the most five-star rated new cars on sale here. More than 60% of all new cars on sale in Ireland have a five-star rating while more than 90% have a four-star rating or better, again we are in second place here behind Luxemburg. Th is is a result to which we ourselves have contributed litt le except for customer demand and because we could afford the optional safety technologies offered by car makers while the Celtic Tiger was alive and well. Some car distributors currently push safety technology by offering ESC and additional airbags as standard. Now, post-boom, there is a distinct probability that these standards may drop as we search for and demand cheaper cars. Can we rely on Irish importers not to reduce safety features in an attempt to offer cheaper models? Will cheaper cars imported from overseas offer the same levels of safety and life-saving options? At what level can we get involved with Euro NCAP? Re R ely in ingg on on any a ny n commercial ccom omme merc rcia iall entity enti en tity ty to to push the Relying safe sa fety ty agenda aage gend ndaa is neither nnei eith ther er reliable or safety smar sm art. t C urr re renn 89% of smart. Currently al l la larg rgee MP MPV V on sale all large MPV’s IIre rela land nd offer ESC in Ireland s taa nd ndaa while as standard ju st 116% 6% of small just ca rs ddo. Three cars year ye arss ago, as years repo re port rt in Fleet reported Tran Tr anss Transport's Flee Fl eett Car, Max Fleet Mosl Mo slee the then Mosley, Pres Pr esid idee of Euro President NCAP NC AP called on Gove Go vern rn Governments to cons co nsid ider er reducing consider taxx fo ta forr ca carr makers to fifitt ESC ESC in all a ll small cars unde un derr 18 1800 00cc cc. These es are the under 1800cc. ccars ca rs ttha at ar aree mo most st fre equ quen entl tlyy involved that frequently in ssingle i nglle car ca r crashes cras cr ashe hess in invo volv lvin ingg yo you u males. involving young In Ireland young males account for 45% of our falling road deaths. Now might just be the time to push for further safety measures. Cars with ESC available as an option incur additional VRT and VAT on what is a vital active safety device. ESC could be made available to all without that extra fi nancial burden. It might save more lives.

better education and safer cars, thanks in no small measure to car manufacturers striving to meet Euro NCAP‘s strict standards. Central to all these is the work of the RSA. I am sure the experience of the RSA and the expertise within that organisation would make it the perfect partner for Euro NCAP and that Euro NCAP would be an invaluable bedfellow for the Irish Road Safety Authority. Education, Enforcement and Engineering are the three ‘E’s that are essential to making our roads safer and protecting us motorists and our families. The RSA believes in this philosophy, but the engineering piece doesn’t just mean better roads, it also means better vehicles. Anything that improves the safety of our cars is vital and the RSA could get much closer to the manufacturers of our cars by becoming a patron and a partner of Euro NCAP.

Ari Vatanen MEP Rally legend and MEP for France, Ari Vatanen takes particular interest in the work and the future of Euro NCAP. In his address he paid tribute to the organisation and welcomed the new testing regime. “Technology is fantastic” says Ari Vatanen. “Man underestimates technology but man will always come up with solutions and Euro NCAP has proved that. But it is much more than that. It is all about saving human life. It could be you next time,” he added. Jokingly referring to the dummies that are used in the crash tests carried out by Euro NCAP, Vatanen said: “I took myself for a dummy many times in my career!” On a more serious note he added: “Sure we are only human beings and we are all susceptible to mistakes. A child will always chase a ball - it is normal. We all have responsibility and in life every second counts. We must defend human life, unconditionally. We can’t take liberties and must obey the law. We are not all rally drivers.”

How can Ireland get involved? Since it came into existence on 1st September 2006, under the watch of CEO, Noel Brett , the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has an admirable record and continues to impress. Last year saw the lowest number of road deaths and serious injuries recorded since our records began. Already this year the figures are showing substantial reductions in deaths and injuries for the fi rst two months. With 16 deaths, February of 2009 is the lowest number of road fatalities in any month in our history. While we should not forget the tragedy for the families of these people, this is an impressive performance. There are a number of reasons for this reduction, including the work of the Gardai, safer roads,

Text & Photos: Gerry Murphy –



Business Planning


n the last eight years (pre this current recession) all progressive transport fi rms that were busy expanding and developing had a defi nite business plan. Normally these had a five-year cycle backed up by detailed fi nancial projections. Th is level of business planning (endorsed, of course by economist's predictions) meant that profitability and liquidity were assured as long as volumes continued to grow. Economies of scale, especially in the large pallet networks meant that initial capital investment in I.T., premises, marketing, training and set up costs would be absorbed by increased turnover. As businesses grew they would become dominant players in the market, swallowing up smaller low key players due to the broad level of services provided. The end goal was to buy market dominance through low rates and that carriers would ultimately benefit through large volumes resulting in maximum utilisation of vehicles and personnel. Unforeseen economic circumstances now means lower volume, unprofitable carriers, debt ridden businesses that cannot repay loans or sell premises. So, business planning based on “best case� scenario has come home to roost. This example is typical of the majority of transport fi rms at present. The question is, what is the next step to achieve business survival? Step 1: Cash Flow is king. Do cash flow forecast based on current revenue reductions and current costs for the next year and also create weekly cash flow forecast for the next month. Th is is necessary to see has the business enough cash to survive long enough for cost reduction/operation changes to take effect. Remember also in this current recession that strict credit control is again a vital function in any business. Step 2: Business re-organisation. In some businesses simply cutt ing costs may not be enough. It may not be possible to cut costs, in the short to medium term, in order to guarantee a breakeven situation. A radical rethink of the business model may be required such as an amalgamation with a similar business to regain volume, selling the business in order to safeguard the current value in the company, or closing all or a section of the business. However, not all cost cutt ing is for the long-term benefit of the business, in profitable times medium and large transport fi rms built a strong administration and management team, allowing the owner the scope to concentrate on business development. In tough times key staff often are let go, leaving the owner to carry out administration and transport management functions and litt le time or energy to concentrate on the bigger picture in the business. Step 3 Re-Focus the Business. Business plans previously were based on increased turnover, lower unit overheads and a competitive market. All operators looking for 44 FLEETTRANSPORT | APRIL 2009

a margin, easily obtained credit, cash and few bad debts. A successful transport fi rm in 2009 is one that will be in existence at the end of the year! The work that employees undertake, the rate and manner in which they are paid, their ability to reduce costs and generate new business all need to be examined. You may have to retrain staff in new work practices, the full cost cannot be carried by businesses, customers may outsource more work as they cut costs to survive. Businesses are employ ing consultants to advise on cost reduction, this is reflected in rate reduction demands to hauliers but also added services from simple stock holding up to taking over the full logistics function of a business. A very s i mple q u e s t ion , what businesses were successful during and after the last recession? The simple answer is those that controlled cash flow and costs and changed as the market changed.

work and initiative by management, and support (if possible) by banks and finance houses together with customer focus are all vital ingredients. Remember the closer and more service focused you are with your customer, creates a situation where your fi nancial viability is also important to them.

Your aim in 2009 is to be a niche player, offering a flexible service, making profit, and retraining/ changing as the market demands. Goodwill of staff, core skills of hard Text: Donal Dempsey –


Trailer production drastically cut • • •

18% fall in the Western Europe trailer market 22% production decline forecast for 2009 €1.5 billion loss of revenue for the transport sector


f these figures above don’t look serious enough then they can be expressed in the number of vehicles. In 2009 demand for trailers will be down 37,000 units and the decline in production will be 61,000. The production figure is so much larger as Western Europe is a huge exporter of trailers. With demand at record levels in 2007 the trailer manufacturers and their suppliers invested

in new production capacity. Even as demand and particularly orders dropped off, there was a reluctance not to use this investment to churn out vehicles, with the result that massive stocks built up – stocks which now have to be sold before production can resume at more “normal” levels. In many cases production levels at factories have dropped to half the level of the previous year.

will be at the 2004 level. The full economic impact of this slowdown has yet to be seen. It will be the end of 2010 before we see any growth in equipment demand.”

Trailer Market Analyst Gary Beecroft , Managing Director of CLEAR said, “Trailer manufacturers and their suppliers have to survive this period until demand and production stabilise at a new lower level. Unfortunately that

UNIT45 introduces Europe’s first intermodal 45ft reefer box


utch 45ft container specialists UNIT45 has recently introduced a new 45ft dieselelectric reefer that meets fully the requirements for the intermodal transport of perishable foodstuff s over distances greater than 150km. According to UNIT45’s Managing Director, Jan Koolen, this new reefer container will fi ll a huge gap in the market. Now that more and more reefer containers are being moved by rail over long distances, for example from Northern Europe to Italy, our customers have been pushing us to solve the difficult technical problems associated with meeting the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs (ATP) requirements and, in particular, to develop a container that could achieve the ATP’s FRC classification. Th is

requires a high level of insulation and enables goods to be transported within a temperature range of -20 0C to +20 0C.” Mr. Koolen believes that many transport operators will now switch large portions of their business from road to rail and sea:

Watched by Rob Boer of Thermo King, UNIT45’s Managing Director, Jan Koolen points out the key points of its new ATP approved dieselelectric reefer container that will enable a wide range of perishable goods to move intermodally throughout Europe.

“There is considerable pressure on the transport industry to fi nd green logistics solutions. Their customers, producers of foodstuffs and the major distributors and retailers, are all eager to be seen taking steps that reduce their respective carbon footprints. The end customers, the general public, expect this of them.”

Image Award for Schmitz Cargobull


chmitz Cargobull has won the German trade magazine VerkehrsRundschau’s Image Award in the Trailer category. Europe's No. 1 trailer builder has won the Trailers/Bodies category of this Award in 2007, 2008 and, now, 2009.

and executives are questioned in detail on the quality, service, customer commitment, and price/performance ratio of their suppliers and their willingness to recommend the companies to other users.

Schmitz Cargobull’s Ulrich Schopker (Member of the Board) collected the Award on behalf of the company.

Other award winners at the event included such famous brands as Mercedes Benz, Scania, Michelin, TomTom.

The basis for the image ranking is a market survey (TNS Emnid), in which management

Text: Jarlath Sweeney –

Pictured (from left to right) Michael Kubenz (President of DSLV), Ulrich Schöpker (Member of the Board of Schmitz Cargobull AG) and Anita Würmser (Chief-Editor Verkehrs-Rundschau)



“Radio Frequency identification tracks valuable assets”

"RFID tagging of pallets and reusable containers can save money and reduce wastage"


arehouse and distribution center operations are at the forefront in the use of radio frequency identification (RFID). The technology is proving to be a costeffective resource for saving time, improving visibility and reducing labour requirements for a variety of shipping, receiving and stock management operations. RFID uses radio signals to exchange data between a tag (also known as a transponder) and a read/write device (commonly called a reader or interrogator). Tags consist of a wireless chip and antenna that are housed in a label or other protective casing and attached to the item that is to be identified. The most common tag type used in warehouse operations are passive adhesive “smart labels” applied to cases and pallets. A typical smart label has an RFID tag encoded within the label material, which is printed with text and bar code. Chips and antenna can also be 46


encased in more rugged tags to provide permanent asset identification or withstand exposure to high temperatures, industrial solvents, impact, and other conditions that make bar code or other forms of data collection impossible. There are many types of RFID readers including mobile readers integrated into handheld computers or mounted on vehicles, and fi xed-position units, which are typically mounted at dock doors and conveyor lines. Asset Tracking While keeping track of production items as they are despatched is crucial, often it is also beneficial to track the actual shipping container with RFID, if the container is a returnable or reusable asset. By using RFID tags on pallets, drums, cages and other shipping containers to track their movements and

associate them with specific customer shipments, organisations collect information foundation to help them recover more of their assets and manage them more efficiently. For example, retailer Marks & Spencer tracks more than 4.5 million trays, roll cages, dollies and other returnable containers for its fresh produce logistics operations with RFID tags. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Ballymount, Dublin needed to track, with great accuracy, the wash history of the product pallets in their manufacturing plant. During the manufacturing process, product is stored and moved on warehouse pallets which are continually reused. National and European regulations state that these pallets must be washed frequently and so the wash cycle must be tracked accurately to ensure that everything is done properly. RFID technology provided by AIS (Automatic Identification Systems Ltd.) based in Park West gave Wyeth a number of advantages over traditional solutions that rely on bar-coding. Firstly, as the pallets were going through a wash cycle, the quality of the printed bar-code label would degrade during the cycle or the label would actually separate from the pallet altogether and secondly, Wyeth technicians can write information to a tag as they go along. Each pallet is fitted with two small RFID tags, 15mm in diameter, one at each diagonally opposite corner with a unique pallet ID number, which ensures that the orientation of the pallet does not matter. The pallet wash station exits are fitted with two RFID antennae units. When the pallet leaves the wash station, the pallets tags move into the range of the RFID antennae and a product sensor triggers a soft ware system to send the current date and time to the antennae. This information is then written and stored into the tag memory. The software application custom developed by AIS simultaneously updates a wash history database with the pallet ID number and the date and time stamp of the wash. Every time a pallet is washed, both the tags and the database records are automatically updated. AIS also included a product sensor to indicate to the system that a pallet is present. This means that if a pallet is present but no tag is detected, then the system will alert an operator through an audio and visual alarm so that they can inspect the pallet to see what the problem might be. When auditing the pallets takes place, the stores operators use portable handheld RFID readers to scan any pallet on the factory floor and immediately verify the exact date and time of the last wash cycle. The overall impact is complete control of the pallet wash cycle. By accurately tracking where assets are in the facility and within the supply chain, organizations can improve planning, reduce buffer stock and increase utilization, which all add up to real cost savings. A flexible RFID system improves inventory and asset visibility, which ultimately leads to lower stock levels, less wastage and more efficient supply chain operations. More details on

Text: Joe O’Brien –


Reading Matters – Trucking Country by Shane Hamilton


hink of the US road haulage industry and the song ‘Convoy’ comes to mind. The ‘hit-single’ which was the theme tune to the big-screen movie of the same name along with ‘Smokie and the Bandit’, both celebrated the rebel truck driver who flouted the long but incompetent arm of the law. While their antics were appreciated by a wider audience; deep down it depicted the rumblings of unrest within the road haulage fraternity. Within a few years (1980) 75,000 truck drivers shut down the Nation demanding a reduction in the price of diesel, an increase of the speed limit and ease of restrictions on highways. Due to the sudden outpouring of media attention the truck driver was hailed as the 'Last American Cowboy'. Shane Hamilton’s book Trucking Country

reflects back to the 1920s and 1930s to when industrialised agriculture forced many farmers off the land and onto the roads to seek a living. He then chronicles the time in between to when the generation of independent hauliers that followed helped to u nder m i ne economic liberalism in the farm and food economy, by bringing fresh produce direct from the fields to the market place.

Ronald Regan’s promise of a ‘free market’ within the road transport industry swept him into the Presidency in 1981 as independent truck drivers called for change after years of stagnation. Cut-throat competition ensued as well as threats from Canadian and Mexican hauliers. He also describes how present day truck brands such as Ford, Mack & White prospered in the early days of road transport as the horse drawn carriage and railways had its limitations. There is also a mention of how Thermo King made such a big contribution in the transportation of perishables across the US. A brilliant read.

Another major accolade for Combilift

DKV progresses with new Headquarters



ombilift, the Monaghan based forklift manufacturer, has lifted its fi ft h major award since its foundation 10 years ago. With its range of 4-way forklifts, the Combi-CB model took the top Innovation honours in the annual UK Fork Lift Truck Association 2009 Award.

multi-directional counterbalance transfers the four-way principle into a small counterbalance truck for the fi rst time.”

In beating seven other fi nalists, the UK FLTA summed up the benefits of this new forklift as follows: Kevin Lofting, Albury Asset Rentals (award sponsors), “The Combi-CB compact Martin McVicar M.D., Combilift and Robert Moffett,

KV, the international service provider for the Coach and transport industry is soon to begin construction of a brand new head office at Ratingen in the North Rhine Westphalia region of Germany.

employs more than 550 staff, of whom about 270 work in the central office in Düsseldorf.

T he ne w f i v e - s t ore y development will cost around €30 million and will cover an area of 10,300 sqm 2 . With a plan to install 450 workstations in the future means that DKV is defi nitely confident in its own growth. Currently DKV

Technical Director, Combilift .

Stobart Chief investigates ‘green’ opportunities


tobart Group Chief Executive, Andrew Tinkler used his visit to Rally Norway to further explore the use of ‘green’ motoring technology. The FIA, World-governing body for motor sport, is driving forward with a range of new regulations and initiatives to encourage environmental sustainability in the sport. Its Make Cars Green campaign is all about helping to reduce the impact of cars on the environment and Andrew, head of the multimodal logistics provider, has a dual interest in such issues. In addition to their development in motorsport, which could benefit the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team, he

is also keen to see them further utilised in Stobart Group’s dayto-day business. A special ‘Green Room’ was also set up at Rally Norway showcasing the very latest cuttingedge motorsport technology and the latest generation of environmentally friendly racespec car models, all of which provided Tinkler with some alternative ideas to reduce costs and emissions for the 1850 strong Stobart truck fleet.

Exceptional Loads Services Ltd. Specialist Services to the Heavy Haulage Industry • Permits • Escorting • Route Planning • Route Surveys Tel: 0402 31229 Fax: 0402 31257 Mobile: 087 2549601 Website: FLEETTRANSPORT | APRIL 2009



Viper Guard’s safer pallet truck Daimler makes significant investment in Mexico chock


afety and security specialist Viper Guard has come up with a simple idea that addresses today’s health and safety requirements. The Viper Guard Pallet Truck Chock is a polyurethane wedge with a v-shaped slot in it that immobilises the truck’s rear wheels. The weight of the truck itself holds the chock securely in position on any truck bed, whether wood or metal.

as fleet managers are becoming ever more concerned with the potential long-term costs of health and safety risks, the modest one-off price of our chock is a very att ractive solution. The fact that it prevents the damage to truck and cargo that a loose pallet truck can cause makes the chock doubly att ractive.”


he North American Division of Daimler Trucks has invested $300m in establishing a new manufacturing facility in Coahuila, Northern Mexico. Covering 1.3 million square feet, the new plant is expected to create 1,400 direct and 200 indirect jobs plus an additional 1,100 positions through the purchase of local supplies. The decision in favour of Northern Mexico was also inf luenced by the site’s significant logistical advantages, including proximity to raw material sources, suppliers, and customers, as well as good connections with the road and rail

The device means no more loose pallet trucks damaging vehicles and freight in transit, and it also means drivers don’t have to risk back strain by laying the pallet truck on its side or lift ing its wheels into a tyre.

network. The plant will produce Freightliner’s new f lagship, the Cascadia heavy-duty Class 8 truck. Up to 30,000 Cascadia trucks will be produced here annually for sale in the US, Canadian and Mexican markets. The Cascadia will be introduced on the domestic market in Mexico in late 2009. “We are confident that with the Cascadia we will be able to fulfi l our customers’ high expectations regarding product quality, operating costs, and reliability,” commented Andreas Renschler, Daimler Truck’s Chief at the official opening.

“Basically, the pallet truck chock addresses a fairly widespread health and safety problem in a simple but ingenious way,” said Viper Guard Sales Manager, Nick Blake. “And

Touch Screen from Nokia


arch 2nd heralded the touchdown of the much anticipated Nokia 5800. What it offers is a broad range of applications such as fi ngertip touch, stylus touch or exclusive plectrum touch. Texting is through alphanumeric keypad, full QWERTY keyboard or in-built hand writing recognition for really instant messaging. Whatever input method used, there is tactile feedback, or a “buzztouch” each time contact is made with the huge 3.2” screen. 48


With the Nokia 5800, touch just got really smart as favourite music, images and videos are just one tap away using the corner media bar, which also includes maps and Ovi share. It also has worldleading surround s ou nd bu i lt-i n speakers with up to 35 hours of music play back.

Volvo adds further intelligence to I-Shift transmission


hen Volvo Trucks invests heavily in reducing fuel consumption and improving the performance of its trucks, the focus is not just on engines, but on the entire driveline. And it is here that Volvo I-Shift plays a central role. Now the automated gearchanging system has been adapted to match the performance levels of the new engines and to minimise power losses in the driveline. What is more, the operational sphere for I-Shift has now been further extended through a new range of practical and fuel-saving functions, such as improved freewheel

(‘I-Roll’) function, optimised gear changing for heavy hauls, better driveability on poor roads and longer gear hold in traffic congestion situations. More than half of all Volvo FH and Volvo FM trucks sold in Europe are fitted with I-Shift .

Text: Jarlath Sweeney –


Cronin Coaches Go Racing


n an effort to stimulate Bus & Coach sales Dermot Cronin Motors organised a type of ‘Bring and Buy’ sale at Limerick Racecourse recently. Over 100 coaches, buses and mini - coaches of all ages, shapes and sizes were well presented on the day. Bus & Coach Dealers also had vehicles on display. Cronin's Van Hool and Plaxton agents, had a strong and varied selection line-up while newly appointed agent for King Long Coaches, Roy Kearney had the latest example from China to be delivered to an Irish Operator. “Th is one is going to Mayo and it will be the sixth King Long registered in Ireland,” he explained. Philip Duff y Sales Executive at Cronin’s said, “There are deals being started here that may not conclude for a few weeks. We are glad that people have made such an effort to come.” Leinster Vehicle Distributors had T.V.M product from Slovainia manufacturer while Westward Scania had a 12m Irizar PB present. Operators on the day were generally upbeat about the future. Most of the people that said that although things were a litt le quiet in the industry if they could sell a vehicle or two they would have the confidence to buy a new one. Tony Doyle of Tony Doyle Coaches had two vehicles with the for sale signs up – a Volvo Sunsundegui and a DAF Marco Polo, both in excellent condition. “We brought these two down, you never know a buyer could turn up,” he said. Dick Martin of Martin Coaches Limerick had an ‘02 Volvo Van Hool at the event, which was very clean and ready for immediate use. Confident that there will be life in Limerick after

American computer giant Dell moves most of its production to Poland, Dick said, “Today is a great opportunity to meet other operators, who knows where a chat could lead to, you could pick up a job or maybe sell a bus or two.” Some of the trade suppliers that were there were also somewhat upbeat about the future. Prime Coachworks Offaly, Errigal Seating and Conversions (Donegal), SOS Recovery (Blarney) and Tom Kavanagh & Son Valeting of Cork were all cautiously optimistic that while this may be a challenging and difficult year, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Main organiser Dermot Cronin was very happy with the event. Wearing both his Coach Sales and Coach Operators hats he said he was very impressed with the range and standard of vehicles presented, “For a fi rst outing, this is not a bad turn out. All of the vehicles here were in showroom condition, which is a credit to those here. Obviously they have taken the event seriously. We will run a similar event towards the end of the year and I would expect a bigger attendance.” Without doubt the weather was a big contributor and the venue -Limerick Racecourse at Patrickwell is an ideal venue. The last comment goes to one operator who shall remain anonymous. “Sean, you could be witnessing the last day of the recession.” Maybe a bit optimistic, but a fair indication of the feeling on the day.

Tony Doyle and Brendan Doyle 50


Text & Photos: Sean Murtagh –


Ireland's First Elite is a Winner


he first Plaxton Elite to enter service in Ireland is now in operation with Matthews Tours of Dundalk. Based on a 14m-long Volvo B12B, the new coach is offering high standards of comfort to customers on the company’s Irish and UK tours, as well as selected corporate charter work – which included transporting Glasgow Celtic Football Club when they played in Dundalk at the end of February.

The Elite has a stainless steel structure and sweeping lines which are emphasised by the top edge of the windscreen running into the roof. Th is gives tour passengers unrivalled forward vision, and also helps create a light and spacious feel around the entrance area.

“I’m delighted with the coach,” says Paddy Matt hews, who with his wife Mary is joint managing director of the family-run business. “It’s our first Volvo, and our first new Plaxton, and it really is a winning combination.

Inside, Plaxton’s designers have matched the striking external appearance with enclosed luggage racks and concealed up-lighting to create an ambience which perfectly complements the distinctive lines of the exterior. Floor level lighting distinguishes the aisle and the entrance steps are lit with distinctive LED down lighting concealed in the step edges. Passengers are kept refreshed on the move with hot drinks facilities and two fridges supplying cold drinks. A centre mounted washroom is provided and can be de-mounted to provide an additional two seats. Paddy and Mary Matthews set up their Award winning company in 1995 with one minibus, and today run 24 full-size coaches and six midis, all less than three years old.

The Elite has just 52 leather-trimmed seats, in line with the company’s intention of providing genuine luxury travel and in keeping with its slogan of ‘Doing ordinary things extraordinarily well’.

Economic downturn affects Wrightbus and Alexander Dennis


wo big names in the Bus and Coach manufacturing business, Wrightbus and Alexander Dennis (ADL) have entered talks with their employees and trade unions in regard to proposed redundancies at their respective plants in Ballymena, Northern Ireland and in Scotland and England.

Wrightbus entered a consultation process at the end of February to actively explore ways in which it can reduce the impact of the proposed 235 lay-offs. The decision was taken in response to the slowdown experienced due to the current global economic climate.

will chart a course that minimises the downside and positions us well for the fi rst signs of market recovery.”

150 jobs are on the line across the board at ADL. Making the announcement ADL Chief Executive, Colin Robertson said, “ADL has in recent years put itself back at the forefront of the industry with market-leading products in home and export territories. In technology terms, our new hybrid models represent a quantum leap with fuel and CO2 reductions that are sett ing the standard globally. Against this backdrop, the decisions we face will be doubly difficult but, in consultation with our employees, we

GoBus gets going


ewly established coach operator, GoBus has entered service with 14 point-to-point return schedules operating from Galway to Dublin. With a swift journey time of 2 hours 45 minutes, a flat rate of just €10 each way and an award-winning fleet of Volvo 9700 coaches, it is sure to be hugely popular with business-people, students and tourists alike. Commuters will be pleased to know that an add-on service to Dublin Airport is also available on each departure from Galway for a new €5 extra. Established by Jim Burke & Sons, Tuam, GoBus, which effectively took over the licensed Nestorlink service from Veolia Transport, operates from the brand new, LAMA AwardWinning Coach Station on Fairgreen Road in Text: Jarlath Sweeney –

Galway, where morning departures begin as early as 01.15am, almost hourly until 23.15pm. Buses leave Dublin from 05.45am, again almost hourly, right up until 23.00pm. GoBus also provides online booking where passengers can purchase their ticket in advance to guarantee their seat.

said Jim Burke, Managing Director of GoBus. “In this day and age, time is of the essence for anyone travelling for work or for leisure, and a time-efficient service is exactly what we are offering, allowing passengers to make the most of their trip,” added Jim.

The Volvo 9700, which is the model that GoBus has leased from Callinan Coaches for its fleet, won Coach of the Year 2008 by offering superior passenger safety and comfort, including toilet facilities, WIFI, a climate control ventilation system, excellent legroom, 3-point safety belts, adjustable head and foot rests and low interior noise to list but a few. “We are delighted to be able to offer this new point-to-point service,” FLEETTRANSPORT | APRIL 2009



C J Sheeran Ltd finalist at SFA National Small Business Awards 2009


ountrath-based fi rm C J Sheeran Limited was short-listed in the Manufacturing and Environmental Sustainability categories for the Small Firms Association (SFA) National Small Business Awards 2009.

Director of C J Sheeran Ltd. “We are particularly proud of our wood packaging waste recycling division we have developed in recent years to offer a sustainable wood removal option to clients across the country.”

“We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this year’s National Small Business Awards, which comes as a well-deserved reward for our hard work and commitment to quality and innovation,” says Mark Sheeran, Managing

The SFA National Small Business Awards celebrate the achievements of small businesses in Ireland, highlighting their vital contribution to the Irish economy. A total of 34 companies have been short-listed across seven categories.

CJ Sheeran celebrates at the SFA Awards. Left to right are Peter Rice, Ashleigh Doyle, Claire Byrne (Newstalk) & Mark Sheeran.

EPAL scheme paves way for supply chain roll out


he European Pallet Association (EPAL) has completed the fi rst phase of a new initiative that allows EURO pallets to be uniquely identified. The pilot scheme for the use of Radio Frequency identification (RFID) tags in standard EPAL wooden pallets (EURO pallets) was carried out with Consumer Electronic Group GS1 in Europe, a collaboration of 44 European GS1 member organisations. It set out to develop a business plan for using the technologyy in standard EPAL nological wooden pallets and the technological a nd organisational requirements for full roll out. EPA L has recognised sig n i f ic a nt benef it s i n i m pl e me nt i n g R F I D// E P C hi h technology to identify its pallets, which include improved supply chain efficiency, asset visibility and pallet security. Following the completion of the RFID/EPC pilot, which involved all GS1 EPCglobal standards, EPAL

believes there are opportunities to improve the control of production and repair of EURO pallets, authenticate individual pallets, and reduce the number of counterfeit pallets. It is also looking at streamlining the administration and information exchange of users within the EPAL system, a cross sector open pallet exchange pool. “The results of the EPAL EPC/RFID pilot program are very promising and we look forward to the pre-rollout phase. Ne Nevertheless, there are still open issues to solve such as the number of tags fi xed on a pallet for op optimal reading, the date stored on the tag, the handling of the GS1 Seria Serial Shipping Container C d (SSCC) and d others h which need to be Code solved within the next 6 months in order to enable a full rollout,” said Stephane Pique, European Director of GS1 in Europe. “There is a need to align our work with other pallet pools to create a

standard that is beneficial to all pallet users. To address this issue a specific EPCglobal interest group has been launched.”

There are currently over 500 million wooden EURO pallets in circulation, which are standardised and certified by EPAL. Under the pallet association’s control and license, more than 60 million new pallets a year are produced in 30 countries with over 1,000 repair centres worldwide.

Heavey RF rolls out ‘Voice Recognition’ package for Musgraves


uperValu and Centra retail networks within the Musgrave Group have partnered with Dublin based IT specialist Heavey RF and UCS/Aquitec to introduce advance voice picking technology with its ambient chilled warehouse operations. Initially, the contract worth €500,000 has successfully deployed voice picking technology in the SuperValu/Centra depot in Kilcock. Following the successful introduction in Kilcock, the system was then trialled in Musgrave 65,000 sq.ft chill depot in Cork from September through November 2008. The chill voice trial was especially significant in that it represented the first implementation of voice picking technology within a ‘pick-by-line’ operation in Ireland and marks Musgrave as a leader in this area. “We selected Heavey RF because they were providing a good quality product and they impressed us with their enthusiasm for the challenges we faced,” said Stephen Bennett ,



Supply Chain Systems Manager, Musgrave. “We were also looking for a local service provider with a good after sales support service and Heavey RF met and surpassed on all criteria.” The new system provides picking instructions to warehouse operatives via a ‘text to speech’

engine through their respective headsets. The user then confi rms verbally to the system using Vocollects’ industry leading voice recogniser. Information is passed to and from the users via the wireless local area network (wlan).




hilst I am a Yes voter on the Lisbon Treaty question I can at times empathise with Libertas in its view that whilst being pro Europe it is not happy with its workings. Neither am I from time to time. My current unhappiness with the EU is its proposed changes to operators needs for Transport Managers. Add this to the new Drivers CPC and its costs on operators, the only conclusion I can come to is CHAOS - to increase regulation on one hand and yet deregulate it on the other? Ally this to the dissimilar levels of enforcement throughout the community and you have a guaranteed formula for the cutt ing off more corners - most especially here in Ireland, of which more anon. In the February edition Fleet Transport's, Legal expert, Jonathan Lawton advised operators of their responsibilities and liabilities for not enforcing driver’s hours ranging from loss of Operators Licence to imprisonment for Corporate Manslaughter, this might be so in the UK but it is most certainly not the case in Ireland. In March’s Fleet, we were told of a Northern Irish company's Hungarian driver being jailed in the UK for six months for interfering with his tachograph for the purpose of concealing excessive driving hours. In Ireland today a truck driver can be issued with a taxi or hackney licence of their own, work all weekend in that occupation and return to work on Monday as a truck driver. Neither the haulier employer or the Taxi Regulator can do anything about this. However, should 54


they be driving someone else’s taxi for gain both the fulltime haulier employer and the taxi owner are liable for prosecution under both the Drivers Hours regulation and the Working Time Directive. Contrast this situation with yet another Fleet report that the EU intended on harmonising rules on enforcement, THEY CAN’T BE SERIOUS! Ireland is a country in which a haulage licence issued by the State in compliance with the Treaty of Rome, has never been rescinded and to the best of my knowledge the Department has never actually tried to. Th is despite a history of appeals by the IRHA (Irish Road Haulage Association) to the Department of Transport to do so. The IRHA was not doing so on trivial grounds, the offences it complained of ranged from running trucks on the same number plate, vehicles using green diesel, false insurance allied to no insurance at all and more. Yet we had total inaction from the Transport Minister or his Department. Let me remind our readers that a licence to haul goods or passengers for reward is issued on behalf of the EU subject to three key criteria, Professional Competence, Good Repute and Sound Financial Standing. On the type of offences outlined above the licence failed on all three grounds yet no action from either the Department or the EU. At the ‘99 enquiry into the state of the road haulage industry the major concern of the Department representatives was the cost of enforcement, not the level of it.

The EU itself cannot deny knowledge of such goings on. In the first instance it is their responsibility to know and secondly as far back as 1986 the IRHA invited the then Transport Commissioner Señor Eduardo Pena to Ireland where he was well briefed on a situation. More than twenty years later things have still not changed. In addition, the EU has driven the requirement for the Transport Manager's Certificate to a level on par with a third level education and now for those that have it they propose to devalue it completely on the grounds that there is a shortage of Transport Managers. Currently both the EU and Ireland have a raft of well-educated young people that are more than anxious to secure good employment. Why are they not being attracted to our profession? It is because the value of such a qualification has been devalued completely by the inability of either our Government or the EU to enforce existing legislation. Equality of enforcement would grow the profitability of the professional haulier and therefore enhance the employment prospects of the Transport Manager. In my view it is simply not good enough of the EU to create even more legislation, which is only a burden to the law-abiding haulier whilst this level of effectively aiding and abetting the illegally acting haulier is allowed to continue.

Text: Jerry Kiersey –

Fleet Management Magazine April 2009  
Fleet Management Magazine April 2009  

Fleet Management Magazine April 2009